Study: Banned chemicals pass through umbilical cord

Trace amounts of flame retardants, which have been banned in the US for more than a decade, are still being passed through umbilical cord blood from mothers to their babies, according to new research conducted by Indiana University.

The researchers explained that the chemicals are linked to health concerns, including hormone disruption and low birth weight.

They said that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were commonly used flame retardants in building materials, electronics and textiles until they were banned in 2004. However, the chemicals leached into the environment, and are still found today in virtually every population worldwide.

The research, conducted by a team of scientists including Amina Salamova of the IU School of the Public and Environmental Affairs, detected the presence of PBDEs in samples drawn from matched mother to infant umbilical cord blood.

Ms Salamova said: "What is especially concerning is that we found consistently higher levels of PBDEs in the infant of each mother-infant pair, suggesting the babies have higher circulating concentrations of these potentially neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals compared with their mothers.”ADNFCR-2094-ID-801837432-ADNFCR