GROUP:

EWG Study #2, flame retardants in breast milk


health & safety concerns:
chemicals found
on average indivi-
dual range
entire group
Brain and nervous system 25 20-30 35
Reproduction and fertility 25 20-30 35

Group members:

(20 People)

Jenna Meyer
Katrina Alcorn
Tiffany Kimball
Teri Olle
Margaret Hardin
Susan Comfort
Angela Strother
Jill
Anonymous
Rani Corey-Sheaffer
Anonymous
Meredith Buhalis
Darcy White
Jennifer Scheinz
Laurie Yung
Lisa
Anonymous
Leila Feldman
Susanne Green
Erika Schreder


Locations:

San Francisco, CA
Oakland, CA
La Habra Heights, CA
Evergreen, CO
Washington, DC
Gainesville, FL
Canton, GA
Dorchester, MA
Jamiaca Plain, MA
Ann Arbor, MI
Raytown, MO
Helena, MT
Missoula, MT
Portland, OR
Nashville, TN
Austin, TX
Burke, VA
Seattle, WA


about this group:

In the first nationwide tests for chemical fire retardants in the breast milk of American mothers, EWG found unexpectedly high levels of these little-known thyroid toxins in every woman tested. Milk from several of the mothers in EWG's study had among the highest levels of these chemicals yet detected worldwide.


picture of group

Group: EWG Study #2, flame retardants in breast milk
Found 30-35 of 44 tested chemicals (20 participants)

The breast milk of the "EWG Study #2, flame retardants in breast milk" group contained 30-35 of 44 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals tested, including chemicals linked to brain and nervous system toxicity, reproductive toxicity and fertility problems,

Summary of chemicals found in EWG Study #2, flame retardants in breast milk

chemical family level found in group health effects exposure routes
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)25% high
50% moderate
25% low
Reproduction and fertility, Brain and nervous system Foam furniture, carpet padding, computers, televisions, contaminated house dust, food

Detailed report by chemical (return to summary)

polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

30-35 of 44 found

Fire retardants in furniture foam, computers, and televisions. Accumulate in human tissues. May harm brain development.

9.51ppb lipids in breast milk1080


Total Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

In PBDE chemical family - fire retardant in furniture foam, computers, televisions; may harm brain development and hormone systems.

  • geometric mean: 0.0555 ppb lipids in breast milk
  • found in 2 of 20 people in the group
  • found in: Jennifer Scheinz, Lisa
0.1ppb lipids in breast milk0.2


Brominated fire retardants currently used in plastics and fabric. The major use is in electronic devices; the minor use is as a backcoating on industrial fabrics. Are directly toxic to mammals and breakdown to more dangerous forms in the environment.

A fire retardant used in TVs, monitors and electronics. Growing evidence that chemical breaks down in the environment to more persistent and toxic forms.

0.08ppb lipids in breast milk1.23


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.005ppb lipids in breast milk0.06


  • geometric mean: 0.00518 ppb lipids in breast milk
  • found in 1 of 20 people in the group
  • found in: Jennifer Scheinz
0.01ppb lipids in breast milk0.01


  • geometric mean: 0.00518 ppb lipids in breast milk
  • found in 1 of 20 people in the group
  • found in: Lisa
0.01ppb lipids in breast milk0.01


0.19ppb lipids in breast milk17.7


0.003ppb lipids in breast milk0.04


Brominated flame retardants used in plastics. Break down into more toxic and persistent forms in the environment. Withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.05ppb lipids in breast milk0.46


  • geometric mean: 0.00518 ppb lipids in breast milk
  • found in 1 of 20 people in the group
  • found in: Katrina Alcorn
0.01ppb lipids in breast milk0.01


Brominated fire retardants used in foam and plastics. Break down into more toxic and persistent forms in the environment. Withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.02ppb lipids in breast milk1.76


0.01ppb lipids in breast milk1.93


1.07ppb lipids in breast milk122


0.04ppb lipids in breast milk11.7


0.01ppb lipids in breast milk2.5


Brominated fire retardants currently used in plastics and fabric. The major use is in electronic devices; the minor use is as a backcoating on industrial fabrics. Are directly toxic to mammals and breakdown to more dangerous forms in the environment.

0.004ppb lipids in breast milk0.04


0.02ppb lipids in breast milk0.13


0.005ppb lipids in breast milk0.04


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.57ppb lipids in breast milk171


0.004ppb lipids in breast milk0.22


0.005ppb lipids in breast milk0.22


0.05ppb lipids in breast milk17.1


In PBDE chemical family - fire retardant in furniture foam, computers, televisions; may harm brain development and hormone systems.

0.76ppb lipids in breast milk200


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

In PBDE chemical family - fire retardant in furniture foam, computers, televisions; may harm brain development and hormone systems.

5.53ppb lipids in breast milk589


0.04ppb lipids in breast milk3.69


0.06ppb lipids in breast milk8.37


0.004ppb lipids in breast milk0.33


0.01ppb lipids in breast milk0.43


Brominated fire retardants used in polyurethan foam and plastics. These PBDEs are neurotoxic and persist in people and the environment. They were withdrawn from the market in the U.S. in 2005.

0.02ppb lipids in breast milk0.47


0.002ppb lipids in breast milk0.06


0.35ppb lipids in breast milk43.8


  • geometric mean: 0.0104 ppb lipids in breast milk
  • found in 1 of 20 people in the group
  • found in: Jill
0.02ppb lipids in breast milk0.02


0.01ppb lipids in breast milk0.4


References/Notes

[1] CDC (2005). National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/. (Methylmercury results have been compared to total mercury in CDC biomonitoring.)

[2] The chemicals co-eluted in the laboratory analysis.