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PNS Daily News - September 22, 2020 


The Supreme Court vacancy raises stakes for a reproductive-rights campaign; voter-registration deadlines are just around the corner; and the pandemic compounds child-care woes.


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It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and abortion are back, center stage, in the election spotlight.

Study Finds Untested Toxics Building Up in PA Children

September 22, 2008

Pittsburgh, PA - Protecting Pennsylvania children from fire could be hazardous to their health. A recent nationwide study has found high levels of chemical fire retardants in the systems of toddlers and preschoolers - three times higher than levels found in similar blood tests of their mothers.

The substances are polybromiated diphenyl ethers, more commonly known as "PDBEs," listed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as possible carcinogens. PDBEs are linked to liver, brain and kidney damage, as well as behavior changes. Myron Arnowitt, director of the group Pennsylvania Clean Water Action says, although many people have not heard of these chemicals, they are likely within reach of most children.

"The chemicals in flame retardants are in the fabrics of couches, they're in clothing, and there are many, many ways that we are being exposed to them constantly."

Arnowitt says many of the chemicals have been around for years, which doesn't necessarily mean they're safe.

"Many of them have really not been properly tested, and unfortunately, we're starting to see the results of what happens when you do that."

In Arnowitt's opinion, Pennsylvania lags behind several other states in taking action on regulating the use of toxic chemicals. The companies that produce the fire retardants claim they have been thoroughly tested and are safe. The study, conducted by the Environmental Working Group tested families in ten U.S. metropolitan areas. See it online, at www.ewg.org.

Eric Mack/Steve Powers, Public News Service - PA