For many years, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were added to many consumer products as a flame retardant.
While they are no longer manufactured in the U.S., they are still in imported products and many products made in America before 2005.
An article in Environmental Health Perspectives compared 167 children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to 214 matched control subjects. Each child was analyzed by collecting a sample of dust from the room in which they spent the most of their waking time.
The dust was analyzed for PBDE content. The scientists found that children living in homes with the highest concentration of specific PBDEs — those with eight or nine bromine atoms — were more likely to develop ALL than children in homes with low or undetectable levels of PBDEs.
Keep in mind that PBDEs contain bromine as part of their chemical makeup.
The PBDEs that were found to be associated with ALL in children were those that contained high amounts of bromine.
Bromine is a toxic element with no known therapeutic value. What’s more, bromine is known to cause goiter and may, if this study and others are confirmed, need to be reclassified as a carcinogen.
Bromine competes with iodine in the body. It can bind to iodine receptors, causing the body to excrete iodine.
High bromine levels have been associated with a host of medical issues, including neurological and thyroid issues.
Unfortunately, it is hard to avoid bromine because it is found in a wide range of consumer goods, including mattresses, clothing, and furniture, as well as food.
The single best thing you can do to avoid having high bromine levels is to ensure that your body has adequate iodine, which will force the body to release bromine.
More information can be found in my book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It.
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