Charlotte Flame LINK
Trace amounts of PBDEs leach into the air and sewage, probablyfrom plastics in appliances and computers, foam in upholstery, and fabric ofcarpets and draperies. Between 5 and 35 percent of such items by weightconsist of PBDE flame retardants.
Other scientists have examined fat from women in San Francisco.Samples contained a wide range of PBDE concentrations--from 0.017 to 0.462microgram/gram of body fat. These samples averaged three times as much PBDEas in samples from women in Sweden, Jianwen She of California'sEnvironmental Protection Agency in Berkeley and his colleagues report in anupcoming issue of CHEMOSPHERE. The United States has strict flame-retardantstandards for furniture and other household items and uses much of theworld's PBDEs.
It's the bromine atoms in the PBDEs that make them good fireretardants. They quench flames by scavenging electrons. The number and theplacement of the bromine atoms determine the type of PBDE. The maximum numberof bromines, 10, occurs in deca-PBDE. This substance, which manufacturers useprimarily in hard plastics, accounts for more than 80 percent of PBDEs in usetoday.
"We may have to look at issues of risk tradeoff, but ...there are flame retardants other than PBDEs," says Linda Birnbaum,director of the human studies division at EPA's National Health andEnvironmental Effects Research Lab in Research Triangle Park, N.C. She notes,"We banned the production of PCBs when we had less information than wedo now of the PBDEs."
Difficult trade-offs must be made in setting regulatory policy on the use of flame retardant chemicals. A rational policy is one that seeks a moderate middle ground, trading off toxic hazards against fire hazards to yield the minimum aggregated losses and costs to society.
In Graham v. North Carolina Butane Gas Company, 231 N.C. 680, 684, 58 S.E.2d 757, 17 A.L.R.2d 881, this Court, speaking through Ervin, J., said: "It is a scientific fact `that gas ordinarily used for fuel is so inflammable that the moment a flame is applied it will immediately ignite with an instant explosion, if it is present in any considerable volume.' * * * This being true, such gas is a dangerous substance when it is not under control." The original quotation is from Holmberg v. Jacobs, 77 Or. 246, 150 P. 284. It was again quoted with approval by this Court in Ashley v. Jones, 246 N.C. 442, 98 S.E.2d 667.
Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Sheffield takes the flame for her candle from another attendee at Sunday's event acknowledging the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade. Sheffield said she felt it was important to recognize the day. Elisabeth Strillacci / Salisbury Post 041b061a72