[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Rapidly rising brominated flame retardant levels in US & Canadianbreast



-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enviro-Mich message from Tracey Easthope <tracey@ecocenter.org>
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The most comprehensive assessment to date of polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDEs) in the breast milk of North American women indicates that the 
body burden of
Americans and Canadians is the highest in the world, 40 times greater 
than the highest
levels reported for women in Sweden.
See story excerpts and link below.

Michigan groups have sought action by the DEQ to list these compounds.
Great Lakes residents should be particularly concerned because of the 
long residence time of contaminants released to our ecosystem.

Because of these emerging concerns, Michigan Environmental Council 
member groups Lone Tree Council, Ecology Center, and Clean Water 
Action on November 12 asked the DEQ to issue a rule requiring 
industries that use PBDEs to report this use to the state under a 
30-year-old program called the Critical Materials Register. The 
program was created in 1970 to help Michigan officials track down 
users of mercury and other hazardous chemicals.

In their letter to DEQ, the environmental groups said, "Traditionally,
Michigan and the Great Lakes region have been leaders in efforts to
understand the effects of and, where necessary, to control or eliminate
inputs of toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate and pose significant potential
risks to human health and the environment. A listing of PDBE compounds on
the Critical Materials Register will help develop an understanding of the
universe of users in Michigan and is a prudent first step toward
understanding the scope of the potential problem that may be posed by these
problematic materials."

On November 29, DEQ Surface Water Division Chief David Hamilton said 
he had referred the petition to his staff and will reply to the 
groups within 90
days, as required by law.


>A link to the story can be found at: 
>http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2001/dec/science/kb_pbde.html




Science News - December 7, 2001
Excerpt
Rapidly rising PBDE levels in North America
The most comprehensive assessment to date of polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDEs) in the breast milk of North American women indicates that the 
body burden of
Americans and Canadians is the highest in the world, 40 times greater 
than the highest
levels reported for women in Sweden. Some scientists are alarmed 
because North American levels of  PBDEs, which are used as flame 
retardants in consumer goods and have been banned by the European 
Union (EU), appear to be rising at an exponential rate.
  The levels of PBDEs in North Americans appear to be doubling every 
two to five years, says Mehran  Alaee, a research scientist with 
Environment Canada. As the principal investigator for the toxic 
substance research grant being used to investigate PBDE exposure in 
North America, Alaee is the author of a previously unpublished graph 
that pulls together all of the human milk data amassed on the 
continent thus far (see Figure 1). Alaee stresses that this graph is 
based on preliminary data. Still,he says, the data indicate "that 
PBDEs will become a problem" if nothing is done to limit the release
of the chemicals into the environment.




==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
==============================================================