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Study: California Fire Retardant Ban Cuts Toxins

An important decision made a little over 10 years ago by the state of California is paying off in a big way for humans and wildlife living in and around the San Francisco Bay area. In 2003 California began regulating chemicals called Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, or PBDEs; these chemicals had been widely used since the 1970’s “to prevent furniture and household items from burning.” According to researchers, the chemicals have been shown to cause babies to have lower IQs, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity. The results of the of California’s regulations are staggering, as the studies shows banned toxins in San Francisco Bay’s muscles have fallen by up to 95%, and PBDEs being present in women’s blood taken at the San Francisco General Hospital is far less common. So not only are Americans in the area more healthy, the wildlife such as birds, shellfish, and fish have all benefitted from the regulations. While great strides have been made on the fight against these dangerous chemicals, threats still remain as “manufacturers continue to innovate new and potentially harmful types of fire retardants, said Arlene Blum, executive director of the Berkeley-based Green Science Policy Institute.”

To learn more about the effects the regulations have had on the people and wildlife in the San Francisco Bay area, click the link: