(WXYZ) – A type of cancer called Papillary Thyroid Cancer has been on the rise, averaging 7 percent a year over the last two decades.
Also on the rise is our exposure to flame retardant chemicals. These are often used on household items like cars, carpets, electronics and America’s most used piece of furniture, the couch.
A team at Duke University conducted a study with 140 patients and found those who had thyroid cancer had higher concentrations of flame retardant chemicals in their home environment.
Flame retardants are known as endocrine disruptors – which means they can affect how your thyroid works. Flame retardants leach out of products over time and accumulate in dust. The study participants had blood samples taken looking specifically for two particular chemicals, BDE-209 and TCEP.
Those with higher concentrations of BDE-209 were 2.3 times as likely to have thyroid cancer when compared with those who had low concentrations.
It’s very hard to avoid flame retardants as they can be used in many items like television sets, wiring, cables, even in the insulation in our homes. So here are my prescriptions:
- Wipe down and vacuum both your house and car often to get rid of any dust.
- A vacuum with a HEPA filter works best as more dust and dirt gets trapped in the bag.
- Wash your hands often and also your kids’ hands especially before eating. This will help lower your risk of ingesting toxins from house dust.
- If you’re concerned what products have flame retardants that you currently own or may purchase in the future, you can contact the manufacturer or check the tag before buying.
Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common form of thyroid cancer and represents 90% of all new cases. You can develop it at any age but it most often affects people between 30 and 50, especially women. You often don’t have any signs but symptoms to watch out for are a small lump in the thyroid gland, changes in your voice like hoarseness, problems swallowing and swollen lymph nodes in your neck. If you’re concerned, please talk to your family doctor.
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