A fairly recent study was done on the levels of PBDE’s, a flame retardant, in your household and its effects on your health. The results were unsettling to say the least. PBDE’s are used in common household items such as your mattress, furniture, carpet, and plastics. Research has shown this dangerous chemical to reduce fertility in humans at levels found in households. California in particular has strict flammability laws and all upholstery, furniture, and bedding products must contain a certain amount of flame retardant. The use of PBDE’s is the cheapest way for the manufacturer to meet these requirements. As a result, pregnant women in northern California were found to have the highest PBDE levels in the world. The average person in the rest of the U.S. was found to have PBDE levels in the blood 10 to 20 times that of Europeans. The tested pregnant women were found to have altered thyroid hormone levels, which could cause health implications for the unborn baby. They had low TSH levels and normal T4 levels, an indicator of hyperthyroidism. During the press release after this study the dangers of hyperthyroidism during pregnancy were discussed. They included increased risk of miscarriage, altered fetal neurodevelopment, premature birth, and decreased motor skills. Another study in May of 2010 discovered an inverse relationship between the time it takes to get pregnant and exposure levels of fire retardant chemicals. Those with higher exposure were linked with decreased fertility. PBDE’s were even found in the ‘purest’ food on the planet: breast milk. Although the specifics of how PBDE’s effect your thyroid are still unclear, it is understood that the PBDE’s mimic the thyroid hormones. Avoiding PBDE’s is difficult, but there are some steps you can take. Try avoiding polyurethane products made prior to 2005. Where a mask when changing furniture or carpets. Also choosing naturally less flammable materials will help, such as leather. PBDE’s are just one of many chemicals we are exposed to in our environment. There are also toxins in our air, water, and food. The human body is a powerful machine and, yes, it does have a way to detox itself using the liver, kidneys, sweat, and breathing. But we are exposed to so much these days it’s hard to avoid toxic build up in our bodies. We need some reinforcement. At our office locations we offer a Metabolic Rejuvenation Kit. This will help detoxify and rid the body of toxins. Along with plenty of exercise and staying hydrated, this kit will help one’s own body tackle the chemicals that don’t belong.