Phosphate ester flame-retardants are man made chemicals that are used today in a variety of products. Phosphate ester flame-retardants are not readily soluble in water however are in soil. The chemical biodegrades when entering into the environment.
Exposure to phosphate ester flame-retardants can occur from eating contaminated food. Food normally has a small amount of phosphate ester flame-retardants. Also, drinking water can be contaminated with this chemical due to improper disposal of wastes. Working or living near a plant that uses phosphate ester flame-retardants there can be contaminated air.
Health effects of exposure to phosphate ester flame-retardants have not been thoroughly studied. There is not enough information regarding health effects upon humans however there is information on health effects on animals. When ingesting this chemical it has shown to lesions of the brain, kidney, liver, and bladder. It also decreased the fertility of the females. It has been proven in animals that there is an increase in cancer due to the exposure to phosphate ester flame-retardants.
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