Scientists Link Flame Retardants to Reduced Fertility

By Kristie Turck •  Published 02/01/10 •  2 min read

We’ve covered the basics of flame retardants in the past.  But new studies show that Flame Retardants may reduce Fertility.

Epidemiologists from the University of California at Berkeley studied 223 pregnant women in California’s Salinas Valley, an agricultural community with predominantly low-income, Mexican immigrants. More than 97 percent of the women had PBDEs in their blood, and those with high levels were half as likely to conceive in any given month as the women with low levels.

That’s not to say that this is a problem that is only relegated to low-income Mexican immigrants.  Having been through fertility treatments in order to conceive, I constantly question what was the cause of my fertility issues.   I’m sure it was a combination of things, but I will forever wonder if my journey towards a greener lifestyle is what helped me become pregnant a second time.  Of course, I’ll never know, but that’s what I like to believe.

We listed the ways to avoid PBDE’s in the prior post, and the Environmental Working Group, also has ways to lower exposure in your home.  One of the things that we didn’t list last time, that stands out now:

When purchasing new products look for these brands, which have publicly committed to phasing out all brominated fire retardants: Acer, Apple, Eizo Nanao, LG Electronics, Lenovo, Matsushita, Microsoft, Nokia, Phillips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony-Ericsson, and Toshiba.

We realize that taking all of these measures is expensive.  I wouldn’t suggest you rent a dumpster and pitch all of your old stuff, but as it starts to need replacing, look for companies that aren’t using flame retardants.  Do your research, and don’t be afraid to call a company and ask them.