Some chemicals added to consumer products to prevent fires may have unintended developmental consequences for young children, according to a pilot study conducted by researchers at Oregon State University. The study recruited 92 Oregon children between ages 3-5 to wear a silicone wristband for seven days to measure exposure to flame retardants. When researchers analyzed teacher-related social behavior assessments and exposure levels, they observed that children who had more exposure to organophosphate classes of flame retardants were more likely to exhibit externalizing behaviors such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity, inattention, and bullying. On this call Dr. Molly Kile, associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and principal investigator of the study discusses the study’s findings.
Duke Superfund Research Translation Core (contact to submit foam sample from your home to have it tested for flame retardant chemicals)
MyExposome, Inc. (wristbands for personal environmental monitoring)
Dr. Molly Kile is associate professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University and principal investigator of the study. Her major research interests are environmental, molecular epidemiology and global health. She works to understand how exposure to chemicals in our environment influences maternal and child health and more specifically, how chemical exposures in utero may alter epigenetic mechanisms that could contribute to chronic diseases later in life. She is also interested in how genetic and other individual factors such as nutritional factors may interact with chemical exposures to influences susceptibility to disease. She has a strong background in exposure biology and developing cohorts for environmental epidemiological studies. Dr Kile received her doctorate from Harvard School of Public Health in Environmental Health and continued her postdoctoral training at Harvard in molecular epidemiology.