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Flame-retardant exposure increases thyroid disease risk in women

May 24, 2016

High blood levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, a common type of flame retardant, may increase the risk for thyroid problems in women, with the effect more pronounced after menopause, according to study findings published in Environmental Health.

Joseph G. Allen, MPH, DSc, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues evaluated data from women participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004 cycle to determine the link between thyroid disease and PBDE exposures, particularly to BDE 47 (n = 1,396), BDE 99 (n = 1,378), BDE 100 (n = 1,413) and BDE 153 (n = 1,413). During the survey, participants were asked to indicate whether a doctor or health care professional had said the participant had a thyroid disease and whether the participant still had a thyroid problem.

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