"Danger to Marine Life, Humans and Environment - PBDEs Are Everywhere"," While they may have served a useful purpose the chemicals are also hazardous to humans and to the environment - especially the ocean.
They are in common household items such as computers, carpets, children's clothing, furniture, appliances, and insulation.
There are various classes and types of PBDEs and laws governing their use vary.
In North America and Europe, there has been a gradual phasing out of PBDEs in different products.
PBDEs and the ocean environment The presence of PBDEs in the environment can cause harm to plant and animal life.
PBDEs make their way into the environment in different ways.
PBDEs can also dissipate into the air we breathe as dust particles.
Pollution, food chain, marine animals Much of the earlier research concentrated on PBDEs and their direct health effects on human beings but now, it is very clear that the marine environment is very much affected.
As PBDEs concentrate in fatty tissue, and marine mammals tend to be at the top of their food chains, they tend to be affected the most.
High levels throughout its habitat have dropped the average life expectancy for a male orca more than in half, according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research in Washington.
High levels of PBDEs have been found in farmed fish - presumably contaminated by water and feed (also because farmed fish tend to have higher fat content).
Exposure could lead to chronic illnesses over time.
Liver disease, thyroid conditions, neurobehavioral problems and reproductive disorders have been linked to PBDEs.
There are certain steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to PBDEs in the home.
Rooms in the home should be properly ventilated.
BUT it is very important to have a better idea of where the chemicals may be found in order to facilitate proper disposal.
The best means is prevention.
See the fact sheet by the Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health for a list of companies not using Deca PBDEs.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW AND EXCITING