DDT Redux: PBDEs In Peregrine Falcons Close To Levels Damaging Developing Lab Rats & Mice

We already know that Petroleum Furnishings Give Kitties and Kiddos Higher PBDE Exposures. This is a familiar tale, set in the periodic table of elements, where bromine perches near chlorine. And where Rachel Carson, according to the Think Tank Experts, is the enemy.

The eggs of peregrine falcons living in California's big cities contain some of the highest levels ever found in wildlife of a flame retardant used in consumer products, a new study has found.
Studies of peregrine falcon eggs and chicks by state scientists reveal that the birds hunting in San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Diego are ingesting the flame retardant called PBDEs, believed to leach out of foam mattresses, synthetic fabrics, plastic casings of televisions, electronics and other products. The research shows that the indoor chemicals can contaminate the outdoors and even humans.
Israel happens to be one of the large bromine product producers (lots of bromine salt around the Dead Sea). Japan and US too. So, who is opposed to legislation mandating reduced exposure to the fire retardants?
The four major manufacturers of flame retardants - Albemarle Corp. and Chemtura in the United States, Tosoh in Japan and Israeli Chemicals Ltd. - oppose the [California] legislation, as does the trade group Bromine Science and Environmental Forum.
Think about the reach of international corporations: Japanese and Israeli firms lobbying against a law in California.

California has to research and set a regulatory path based on lessons discovered in the 1970's, but now with international opposition, and with no backup from Federal EPA (that is nearly paralyzed).

State scientists decided to study the predatory birds, although there are only seven known nesting pairs in the Bay Area. Along with other raptors and brown pelicans, their numbers plummeted when DDT and other chlorinated compounds caused thinning and breakage of eggshells. Scientists fear the PBDEs will do the same.
Compare the value of PBDEs in suppressing fire hazard in fabrics, foams, and engineering polymers to the dangers of bioaccumulated PBDEs at the top of the food chain. For this one, even vegans have no escape.

What are the alternatives to PBDE's in these most basic of products...for fire hazard suppression? Ideas to "tips@treehugger.com."

Via::San Francisco Chronical, "Flame retardant found in peregrine falcon eggs" Image::BBC, "Peregrine Falcon, from Nature of Britain"

Tags: California

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