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How chemicals in your child’s car seat, other common items could be affecting their IQ

HOUSTON – There’s an increasing number of cases linking flame retardants and pesticides to lowering a child’s IQ, according to researchers from New York University.

The chemicals could be in your child’s pajamas, car seat, your upholstered furniture and household electronics.

Researchers say in 738,000 children between 2001-16, flame retardants and pesticides caused IQ points to shift below an IQ of 70.

The specific chemicals examined were polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organophosphates, and methylmercury and early life exposure to lead.

The PBDEs -- most commonly known as flame retardants, which ideally make clothing and furniture less flammable in case of a house fire -- have been under suspicion for decades. For example, health complications such as thyroid disruption and developmental delays are associated with this chemical in particular.

Do the following ff you want to avoid them:

  • Check labels: Manufacturers are required to list flame retardants.
  • Replace the foam in older pieces of furniture.
  • Switch to organic products.

Highlights from the study:

  • Children are exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in utero and in early childhood.
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals are known to cause neurodevelopmental toxicity.
  • PBDEs were the greatest contributor to IQ loss and intellectual disability.
  • Organophosphate-attributable IQ loss and intellectual disability have increased.
  • The overall cost of neurodevelopmental disease decreased over the study period.