Mich. greens urge fireproof chemical curbs

Sept. 21, 2008 at 6:09 PM
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DETROIT, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- An environmental group released a study showing higher levels of flame-retardant chemicals present in the bodies of U.S. children.

The findings from the Environmental Working Group are being used to bolster calls from Michigan groups for the passage of restrictions on three such chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs.

"The chemical is ubiquitous in offices and schools and homes," Gen Howe of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor told The Detroit News Sunday. "Michigan can't wait for the federal government to act."

The News said the Environmental Working Group found the levels of PBDE in children to be about three times higher than in their mothers.

Howe said the chemicals have been shown to have neurological effects on developing children; however, other consumer groups say the chemicals' health effects need to be studied further and note they currently prevent untold injuries from burns.

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