Scientists from the Silent Spring Institute say most Americans are harboring at least a handful of harmful toxins in their bodies—including one called TDCIPP that was supposedly phased out in the 1970s and one called TCEP that hasn’t been seen previously in Americans.
A team of researchers analyzed urine samples from more than a dozen California residents, looking specifically for six “rarely studied” chemicals with known health risks including links to cancer, neurological disorders, and damage to the nervous and reproductive systems. They found evidence of all six substances.
So how are we being exposed to these dangerous chemicals? Possibly just by sitting on the couch or lying in bed, scientists say, since the flame retardants are most often found in the polyurethane foam used to make furniture (along with other textiles, upholstery, carpet and plastics). Further, high amounts of TCEP and TDCIPP in the body were linked to high levels of the chemicals in household dust, pointing to our homes as a primary exposure source.
Study authors recommend purchasing furniture made without flame retardant chemicals, as well as vacuuming with a HEPA filter and frequent hand washing (especially before eating) to reduce exposure to the harmful substances.