Washington: Brominated flame retardants, thechemicals found in household items like furniture cushions andcarpet pads, can alter thyroid hormones in pregnant women thatmay hamper the baby`s growth and brain development, a newstudy has claimed.
"Normal maternal thyroid hormone levels are essential fornormal foetal growth and brain development, so our findingscould have significant public health implications," said leadresearcher Jonathan Chevrier of the University of California,Berkeley. "These results suggest that a closer examination betweenPBDEs and these outcomes is needed." Brenda Eskenazi, the co-author of the study, said despitethe prevalence of these flame retardants, there are fewstudies that have examined their impact on human health. "Our results suggest that exposure to PBDE flameretardants may have unanticipated human health risks." For their study, the researchers analysed blood samplesfrom 270 women taken around the end of their second trimesterof pregnancy. They measured concentrations of 10 PBDE chemicals, twotypes of thyroxine (T4) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).They controlled for such factors as maternal smoking, alcoholand drug use, and exposure to lead and pesticides. The analysis focused on the five PBDE chemicals thatwere detected most frequently and are components of a mixturecalled pentaBDE. PTI
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