Flame retardants are extremely persistent. Years after they have been banned they are still leaching out of old products.
Both children and cats are particularly vulnerable to flame retardants. Cats sit and spend time lying on furniture and other household items which have been treated with flame retardants. Kids are more likely than adults to ingest flame retardant chemicals because they tend to put everything in their mouths and their exposure to these chemicals is likely to be greater because they are crawling around the floor and on furniture.
It also seems that brominated flame retardant are known to be hormone disruptors. They can cause the thyroid gland to malfunction. Perhaps, and I don’t know, these mysterious chemicals might be responsible for hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in domestic cats.
A study in Sweden found that house cats can have high levels of flame retardant chemicals in their blood. This flagged up the potential for children to be poisoned by these chemicals. At present we don’t know how damaging these toxins are to young children.
The contaminants are found in house dust. The chemicals that create flame retardants eventually become dust and as a result pose a health hazard.
Clearly, more needs to be done to eliminate the chemicals from household objects. I do not know the current state of play regarding the banning of these chemicals. Personally, I think they should not be used at all. I wonder whether the lives saved by flame retardants represents a greater benefit to people and pets than the unknown extent and consequences of the poisoning of people and pets in households.
There is no doubt in my mind that flame retardants were introduced carelessly. The law insists that flame retardants are used but it needs to be updated. There needs to be a radical rethink in my opinion.