Toxicity of Flame Retardants

SSS health researchers Marjo Smith, Caroll Co, and Matthew Bridge are among the authors of an article published in Toxicological Sciences that describes a comparison of the toxicity of a class of flame retardant chemicals to that of the class they are replacing. With the phasing-out of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants due to concerns about their potential developmental toxicity, the use of replacement compounds such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased, but limited toxicity data are available to estimate the potential adverse health effects of the OPFRs. Based on measurements of biological endpoints in the roundworm C. elegans, the results of this study suggest that some of the replacement OPFRs may have levels of toxicity comparable to PBDEs. The article was coauthored by researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the University of Louisville School of Medicine.