What are organophosphate flame retardants?
Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) are chemical additives which are found in a variety of building materials, such as, plastics, sealants, insulation and adhesives. They are also found in consumer products. We have seen that these OPFRs are stored in the body and can accumulate overtime. The storage of various OPFRs are toxic for the body, but it is still not clearly understood to what extent these chemicals contribute to infertility, if at all.
Can flame retardants cause miscarriage or infertility?
A newly published study by a fertility centre in Boston tested for urine sample in patients to determine their exposure to these chemicals and then monitored for miscarriage rates in these patients. The results of the study showed a positive correlation between exposure to OPFRs and miscarriage. Meaning, the more that these chemicals were detected in a urine sample, the higher the risk of having a miscarriage was for the couples.
How can I reduce exposure to flame retardants in the home?
While exposure from building materials to these chemicals is difficult to change, strategies to limit them from concentrating inside your home can be simple. These chemicals can accumulate in the dust that settles on furniture, flooring, and in the carpets. So a simple wet-wipe (so the dust sticks to the wipe) to clear off dust on all surfaces in the home can help to remove them from the home.
Instead of using a broom at home, use a vacuum or wet swiffer. The broom will push up the dust in to the air and from there it is heavily concentrated in the air which you will breathe in. A vacuum or wet swiffer prevent that from happening.
The stuffing inside of sofas tends to carry a lot of these chemicals as well. So if there is a tear or damage that exposes these chemicals, have them mended or repaired as soon as possible.
Stick to a plant-based diet. OFRs can also be traced to poultry and including more vegetable sources in your diet can help reduce exposure to these chemicals.
This article is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor or Primary Care Provider.