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E-M:/ Great Lakes fish soak in new poison

Toxic flame retardants commonly used in computers, televisions and textiles have accumulated dramatically in Great Lakes fish over the past two decades, prompting legislative efforts to ban the compounds.

The state Legislature in 2004 banned two types of the flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs. Michigan was one of several states to ban the manufacture, use or distribution of penta-BDE and octa-BDE.

But a third type of the chemical, deca-BDE, is still widely used and can break down into the more toxic forms of PBDEs. Environmental activists and some scientists are pushing for a ban on deca-BDE, a persistent toxin that accumulates in the food chain.


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