Study finds flame retardants widespread in wildlife

The chemicals can affect their ability to reproduce

A new analysis of peer-reviewed research shows a growing impact from flame-retardant chemicals in wildlife. Researchers found 150 species around the world show signs of flame-retardant contamination, including endangered species like killer whales, red pandas and chimpanzees.

The study found both older, phased out-chemicals like PCBs and newer replacement chemicals. The highest levels were found in marine mammals and birds of prey, posing risks to their ability to reproduce.

“This is a really unfortunate side-effect from something that is supposed to protect us from fires,” lead author Lydia Jahl, a scientist at the Green Science Policy Institute. told the Guardian.

Read more from the Guardian.

Header Image: Birds of prey, including the American kestrel, showed some of the highest levels of flame-retardant chemicals. Credit: Gregory ‘Slobirdr’ Smith