Cancer and household toxins

Hidden toxins in Furnishing.

Did you know that items you come into contact with every day, such as your couch cushions, your carpeting, and your mattress, might be exposing you to highly toxic compounds?

In most cases, they will contain flame-retardant chemicals that have been linked to serious health risks like infertility, birth defects, neurodevelopmental delays, reduced IQ scores and behavioral problems in children, hormone disruptions, and various forms of cancer.

In fact, flame retardant chemicals were recently identified as one of 17 "high priority" chemical groups that should be avoided.

Exposure to Flame Retardants in Utero Can Lead to IQ Reduction

Recent research3 also shows that children whose mothers were exposed to flame retardant chemicals during pregnancy have lower IQ, and are more prone to hyperactivity disorders.

The researchers initially measured the levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in women at 16 weeks of pregnancy. The health of the children was then monitored until the age of five. As reported by The Vancouver Sun:4

"[W]omen with a high level of PBDEs in early pregnancy, when the fetal brain is developing, was associated with a 4.5 IQ decrement, which is comparable with the impact of environmental lead exposure. The researchers say their results confirm earlier studies that found PBDEs may be developmental neurotoxicants...

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) added two of three existing commercial PBDE formulas to the list of banned Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) due to concerns over toxicity in wildlife and mammals in 2009.

While PBDEs were voluntarily withdrawn from the US market in 2004, products manufactured before then may still contain PBDEs, which can continue to be released into the environment and accumulate via indoor dust."

Adding a level of frustration to the equation, there's virtually no evidence to suggest that these chemicals actually work when it comes to saving your life if there's a fire.

In fact, tests show not only do they not work, but they actually release toxins when they burn and may be more far more likely to kill you than the fire itself! For a demonstration of just how useless flame retardant furniture is, see the featured video.

Flame Retardants Are All Around You

The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) guide5 to PBDEs recommends being particularly mindful of polyurethane foam products manufactured prior to 2005, such as upholstered furniture, mattresses, and pillows. If you have any of these in your home, inspect them carefully and replace ripped covers and/or any foam that appears to be breaking down.

Also avoid reupholstering furniture by yourself as the reupholstering process increases your risk of exposure. Older carpet padding is another major source of flame-retardant PBDEs, so take precautions when removing old carpet.

As you replace PBDE-containing items around your home, select those that contain naturally less flammable materials, such as leather, wool, and cotton. Also look for organic and "green" building materials, carpeting, baby items, and upholstery, which will be free from these toxic chemicals and help reduce your overall exposure.

Be particularly cautious when purchasing baby products. In one test, about 80 percent of the baby items tested was found to contain flame retardant chemicals. Sixty percent of car seats produced in 2011 were also found to have them. Other baby items that may harbor toxic flame retardants include:

Nursing pillows

Baby carriers

Car seats

Changing table pads

High chairs



Portable cribs


Baby tub inserts and bath slings

Glider rockers

Sleeping wedges

While the featured study focused on PBDEs, there are many other hazardous chemicals used as flame retardants, and it's highly unlikely that any of them would have a nonexistent health impact.

One such chemical, chlorinated tris (TDCPP), was removed from children's pajamas in the 1970s due to its cancer-causing potential. Despite that, it's now commonly used in couch cushions! So while your child may not be sleeping in it, everyone in your family may still be exposed to this cancer hazard via your furniture. Moreover, while manufacturers have indeed stopped using some of these flame retardant chemicals, they're replacing them with newer chemicals—chemicals that AGAIN have not been adequately tested for safety.

Do Flame Retardants Really Work?

The chemical industry insists that flame retardant chemicals save lives, but where's the real evidence for that? Last year, I wrote about the deceptive campaigns that led to the proliferation of fire retardant chemicals. As reported in an investigative series "Playing With Fire" by the Chicago Tribune:


"The average American baby is born with 10 fingers, 10 toes and the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world. The toxic chemicals are present in nearly every home, packed into couches, chairs and many other products. Two powerful industries — Big Tobacco and chemical manufacturers — waged deceptive campaigns that led to the proliferation of these chemicals, which don't even work as promised."

According to the chemical industry, fire-retardant furniture increases your escape time 15-fold in the case of a fire. This claim came from a study using powerful, NASA-style flame retardants, which provided an extra 15 seconds of escape time. But this is not the same type of chemical used in most furniture. As noted in the featured video, tests have shown that the most widely used flame-retardant chemicals actually provide no meaningful benefit in case of a fire, while increasing the amounts of toxic chemicals in the smoke.

For information on how to rid your body from harmful toxins through Metabolic Detoxification  please contact Cynthia Sillars on 07599520406 or If you don't get an immediate reply by telephone then email. I am busy and may not be able to get back to you straight away.