Prenatal Exposure to Flame Retardants Linked to IQ and ADHD

Propionic acid and autism

Prenatal exposure to flame retardants may be as concerning as lead exposure to children’s brain development. A new study involving Simon Fraser University researchers has found that prenatal exposure to flame retardants can be significantly linked to lower IQs and greater hyperactivity in five-year-old children. The findings are published online today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers say their results confirm earlier studies that found PBDEs, which are routinely found in pregnant women and children, may be developmental neurotoxicants. The researchers found that a 10-fold increase in polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) concentrations in early pregnancy, when the fetal brain is developing, was associated with a 4.5 IQ decrement, which is comparable with the impact of environmental lead exposure.