Deca is a flame retardant chemical used in electronics, furniture, and mattresses. According to the Environmental Working Group, “low doses of these PBDEs could disrupt the thyroid hormone balance and interfere with neurodevelopment in laboratory animals.”
Here are a few ways I plan to reduce my family’s exposure to Deca:
· Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum. Consumer reports rated HEPA filter vacuums and the information can be found here at consumerreports.org (for subscribers). Be sure to vacuum in areas of potential PBDE dust, such as behind TVs, around couches and under the bed.
· When buying electronics, especially computers, opt for companies who do not use PBDEs. There are several TV and electronic manufacturers who now don’t use them, such Apple, Dell, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, Panasonic, Lenovo, Phillips, LG Electronics, Toshiba Personal Computing and Hewlett Packard. When buying a computer, buy one from a company that is the best for indoor environmental health, such as Apple, who phased out PBDEs years ago and uses no PVC or mercury in their electronics.
· And when buying furniture, ask if the foam contains PBDE. IKEA phased out bromated flame-retardants from all their furniture and mattresses and should be a safer bet. The best choice is organic mattresses and furniture made from natural materials such as wool and organic cotton.
· Consider buying an air filter. The toxic dust that settles can be vacuumed up, but the airborne dust remains. Consider buying an air filter with an allergenic filter to catch the most possible toxins from the air.