EWG Study #2, flame retardants in breast milk

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

Group members:

(20 People)

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


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 reproductive toxicity and fertility problems, brain and nervous system toxicity,

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

Test results by chemical family (see each chemical)

polybrominated diphenyl ethers (pbdes)

30-35 of 44 found — see each chemical

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)


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