A new study by the research team from UC Riverside shows that there are some distinctive flame retardants in every household which increases the risk for diabetes in infants. It also reveals that if a pregnant mother lives in such a house, the chances of her baby getting diabetes are much higher.
Flame retardants also called PBDE’s are linked with adult-onset diabetes in the past. This new study has evaluated their role to increase the risk of diabetes in infants if their mothers are exposed.
In mice studies, all the mice who got PBDE’s inside their mother’s wombs or through milk became diabetic. Elena Kozlova is a doctoral student in neurosciences at UC Riverside and the lead researcher of this experiment. According to Kozlova, the prolonged exposure to this chemical can cause diabetes in a child in the womb.
The complete study findings are published in the Scientific Reports.
these PBDEs are typically a part of all households. They are a part of the chemicals that are used on furniture, electronics, and other common things to save them from fire. When people breathe in the house or vehicles filled with PBDEs, these make their way to the human bodies through their breath. It means there is no way to avoid them by 100%.
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Some of the proven PBDEs with negative effects on human health are banned to be made a part of household items. But the already existing items still carry the risk. Also, when these materials with PBDE’s are recycled, they can leach into the environment. That’s why humans are at continuous risk of being exposed to them whether through breastmilk, household or through the environment.
PBDEs are associated with adult-onset of diabetes but their role on infants and unborn babies wasn’t clear. For this reason, Curras-Collazo along with her team tried to unwind the relation between increased risk for diabetes in children and these chemicals. However, this link is only studied on mice.
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to regulate high sugar levels inside the blood. Normally, the human body secretes a hormone called insulin which breakdown the food and helps the body to uptake it to work. But when the pancreas makes little or no insulin, the glucose levels continue to remain high even if a person doesn’t take any food.
These increased sugar levels are a serious threat to visceral organs and nerves. Often time they end up causing fatal diseases.
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This is a unique study because it discusses the role of PBDEs in unborn children. It has never been studied before. In the animal model, all of the children were caught up with glucose intolerance and a high sugar level along with insulin sensitivity and overall low insulin amount. All these are characters of diabetes. Although the mothers were affected by the PBDEs exposure too the risk for them wasn’t much significant as for their children.
This study reveals that PBDEs and other commonly occurring chemicals can be easily transmitted to the children from their mother. If the exposure is high during the developmental stage, it can cause severe damages to their health.