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PBDE

Courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The International Joint Commission (IJC) says the U.S. and Canada should create a strategy to reduce toxic chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the Great Lakes. This comes from a new IJC report released Wednesday. "The PBDEs polluting our Great Lakes are toxic substances of great concern," says the Canadian Section's IJC chair Gordon Walker in a press release . PBDEs are flame retardants that are common in electronic devices, appliances, carpets, and furniture. Studies...

Rachel Kramer / User: Flickr

A research team has discovered high levels of flame retardants in bald eagles in Michigan. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs , are in all kinds of consumer products. They're in our couches, our TVs, our cars, our office chairs, the padding beneath our carpets, and the dust in our homes. But the chemicals don’t stay put. They leach out and build up in people and in wildlife. " What we found was that some of the eagles, particularly in Michigan, had some of the highest exposures to flame retardant chemicals in the world," says Nil Basu , a professor at McGill University in Montreal.

Flame retardant chemicals help keep foam and plastics from catching on fire. Theyre called PBDEs. That stands for polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Theyre in our couches, our office chairs and the padding under our carpet. The problem is... they dont stay put. Scientists have known for a while that the chemicals leach out of products and get into our bodies. Americans have the highest levels of anyone in the world.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies are suggesting links to problems...