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Fire Retardants Found in a Stick of Butter

contamination, fire retardants

Why were fire retardants found in stick of butter?

Health experts have long known that we’re walking around with all sorts of chemicals in our bodies that shouldn’t be there. One that persistently shows up in blood tests (and tests on breast milk) the chemical compound used in flame retardant.

Polybrominated diphenyl ether is used in some clothing, on furniture and building supplies, among other things, which accounts for much of our exposure to PBDE. However, a team of environmental scientists at the University of Texas School of Public Health, found evidence of a small amount of the flame retardant in a place one might never suspect: butter.

CNN reports that the group looked into a small sample of products drawn from a small geographical area to test for various contaminants. The team, who published their findings in the latest issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, said the butter’s wrapper had even higher amounts of PBDE than the butter itself.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, said based on the findings, a 40-pound child would only have to eat 3 percent of that stick of butter to consume an excess of the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe exposure limits.

Perhaps their small study found the only stick of butter wrapped in contaminated paper that’s ever been sold in the state of Texas ever. But what are the chances of that? What else at the breakfast table is soaked with flame retardants that we don’t even know about?

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Photo: Robert S. Donovan via Flickr

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