That 1974 chart-topper from Canada's little sparrow, Nancy White, kept running through my brain as I read about the latest study on dust bunnies that indicates that "a persistent and bioaccumulative flame retardant" known as Dechlorane Plus (more on this chemical in TreeHugger here) can be found in household dust. Although not much is known about its toxicity, "The chemical's structure is similar to that of organochlorine pesticides such as heptachlor, chlordane, aldrin, and mirex, all of which have been either banned or restricted in the U.S." ::ES&T;, see also earlier ES&T;
This joins previously found PDBEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), a gender-bender chemical that is a common fire retardant and is crumbling out of our couches and building up in the dust bunnies. A study by Miriam Diamond of the University of Toronto a few years ago determined that house dust was the main route of exposure to PDBEs.
The bunnies pass on the chemicals to children and are found in breast milk, can cause thyroid problems and newborn mice exposed to PBDEs have learning and motor-skill problems.
Like me, Nancy White hangs out on Freecycle and we met online; I asked her if I could share Les Moutons with TreeHuggers as the new anthem for fighting PDBE-laden dust bunnies to the death and she graciously agreed. Listen to it here and to more at ::Nancy White