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Report finds little risk to infants

Report finds little risk to infants

A report released by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) has found that exposure to a group of substances (PBDEs*) used in the upholstery of car seats as a flame retardant, is unlikely to cause adverse health effects in infants and toddlers .

Children are particularly susceptible to toxicants that affect development, such as PBDEs, so a study was undertaken to determine the risk to infants/toddlers exposed to PBDEs while restrained in a car seat.

The resulting report was produced for the Ministry of Health as part of their work to reduce the number of preventable injuries through exposure to chemical substances and products.

The most important exposure factors for infants/toddlers in a car are the concentrations of PBDEs in air and dust and the length of time the toddler is in the car.

The full report is available at

* Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are commercially produced halogenated compounds that are added to plastics and polyurethane foams as flame retardants.

More information on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants banning the production and use of some toxic chemicals ratified by New Zealand in September 2004.


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