In 1975, California introduced new legislation intended to reduce the flammability of everyday household items, prompting manufacturers to begin adding flame retardants to furniture, mattresses, carpeting, and other goods. But since then, it has become apparent that many of the flame retardant chemicals may do more harm than good. According to a new study, some of these added chemicals may have developmental consequences for children and can affect their social behavior.
The study was performed by researchers from Oregon State University and published in the journal Environmental Health.
“When we analyzed behavior assessments and exposure levels, we observed that the children who had more exposure to certain types of the flame retardant were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention and bullying,” said Molly Kile, Associate Professor at the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences.
“This is an intriguing finding because no one had previously studied the behavioral effects of organophosphate classes of flame retardants, which have been added to consumer products more recently,” Kile added.
By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer