Toxic Chemicals In Household Items

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email
Whether it

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It's about as common in households as peanut butter or paper towel.
But unlike these products, it could be hurting your children without you even knowing it.

"Deca is one of a family of flame retardants used in a lot of products," says Dr. Ted Schettler.

You can find it in carpet, drapes, pillows, you name it; the flame retardant is mainly found in electronics and computers.

Typically Deca is safe; but the problem is, if you ingest its dust particles at a young age, it can cause neurological and learning problems later on, according to Dr. Schettler.

"Deca comes out of the casings of a TV or computer, gets into the dust, and the child crawls around on the floor, gets dust on their hands and puts hands in their mouths," Schettler says.

Perhaps the scariest thing is it's virtually impossible to know all the things in your home that have the toxic chemicals. And Sen. Liz Brater, (D) Ann Arbor, says there's no telling how many or which products in your home have Deca unless you test it, which can be expensive.

"We shouldn't panic about this, but we should take steps we have available to stop putting these products out," Brater says.

That's why some lawmakers are recommending legislation that would phase Deca out of use by 2014.

"This is not a problem you can solve in your own home," Schettler says. "This is a problem that has to be solved upstream, where manufacturers are not putting chemicals like Deca into products to begin with."

In the meantime, there is some reassuring news: Proper hygiene, washing hands and regular vaccuuming should keep your children healthy.


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