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As I've been sewing again, I've noticed a new trend. They are adding more and more fire retardant chemicals (mostly polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)) to the bigger name brands of quilt batting and pillow stuffing. Be sure to look at the contents before buying it to use for your fish tank. They'll list it some where on the bag most of the time, but not always. More and more of the cheap brands are going this route. Rinsing it will often not get rid of it as it is embedded in the fibers.
 

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That is great information and made me start looking it up because my wife makes the occasional throw pillow and the stuffing she was using contained PBDE and was listed as a fire retardant. Aside from the use as filter media this is just overall bad stuff to have in the house from the information I have found. We threw ours out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, studies are showing it messes with the brain and other vital organs and it's kind of disturbing since it is made for bedding. I was at walmart today and all but one bag had this in it. Not worth it.
 

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Yeah, studies are showing it messes with the brain and other vital organs and it's kind of disturbing since it is made for bedding. I was at walmart today and all but one bag had this in it. Not worth it.
Did you happen to notice the brand? It would be nice to start a list of these brands with fire retardants or chemicals.
Thx!
 

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Thanks for this. I was about to go and pick up a roll today so I'll have to be sure to check since I've used the same rolled stuff for years... boooo!

BTW, good to see you back around these parts! Last week I was wondering where you were and saw you hadn't posted since August! I was bout to message you and make sure were doing ok still!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It's many of the brands. The crib sizes are almost always sprayed with this crap. I am now using cotton or bamboo for most of my quilting just for this reason.

These are brands I've all used at one time or another. Not all of there products have this, but look very careful on the front and back of the product. The most common one at Walmart is the worst. They do have some that are free of chemicals, just pay close attention. I was surprised that more brands are going this route instead of the opposite.

Ha, miss me eh? I've been catching up on life duties such as cleaning, sewing and boring laundry. Thanks for asking. :D
 

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That's why I've never used it. I could never be sure of sewing materials. Aquarium material is way more expensive, but I don't have to worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, but it can kill your livestock. I know unfortunately from prior experience. Also, there are other chemicals they typically use that are even more disturbing. Some are free of all chemicals, others aren't.

It does a lot more damage that you'd realize. You really need to spend some time reading the scientific journals if you want to see the studies. They can be found on google as well by specifying scientific journals.

Either way, it's your choice on whether or not to risk it.
 

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From the New York Times article: "California to Ban Chemicals Used as Flame Retardants":

"Our primary concern is that PBDE disrupts the thyroid hormone balance and causes harm to the developing brain," said Tom McDonald, a toxicologist with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. "We're talking about subtle effects: hyperactivity, hearing loss, less ability to learn."

For detail and a lot more, read the book "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things".

BTW, in case anyone thinks that brain development stops in adult, read the article "Brain Continues to Develop Beyond Adolescence". For an in-depth coverage on neuroplasticity, read the book "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain".
 

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i've got an old bag about 8 years old. made by morning glory. got it at walmart. on the bottom it gives a warning about it being extremely flammable. i'd better start conserving this stuff.
 

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Dimd... I use this crap.
It said keep away from baby's and children, don't smell something about thin film will suffocate.

Should I remove it? its already in the filter for over 2 months, never had a fish dead in that aquarium.
 

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From the New York Times article: "California to Ban Chemicals Used as Flame Retardants":

"Our primary concern is that PBDE disrupts the thyroid hormone balance and causes harm to the developing brain," said Tom McDonald, a toxicologist with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. "We're talking about subtle effects: hyperactivity, hearing loss, less ability to learn."

For detail and a lot more, read the book "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things".
And neither of those links are to scholarly sources. If you check the actual science, you'll find that the vast majority of the research on these indicates that there are chronic effects in animal models at very high levels (grams per kilogram per day) that are pretty nasty but would never be seen in a person who wasn't eating the stuff by the pound. The data on humans is far from conclusive, and it is all from population studies and suggests correlative rather than causative links, if any.

Note, I'm not saying that this stuff is good for anyone, or even that it's not causing problems, only that we just don't know.
 

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And neither of those links are to scholarly sources.
So you are looking for a scholarly source? Here is one from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (a part of National Institutes of Health):

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) Flame Retardants and Thyroid Hormone during Pregnancy


If you check the actual science, you'll find that the vast majority of the research on these indicates that there are chronic effects in animal models at very high levels (grams per kilogram per day) that are pretty nasty but would never be seen in a person who wasn't eating the stuff by the pound.
Really? I do not claim to know all the PBDE studies. Since you claim to know so much about them, please show us your tally to support your above claim.

BTW, the study in the above cited "scholarly source" did not require people to eat PBDE "by the pound".

As it is, people already have plenty of PBDE in their system. According to the report (also from a scholarly source) "Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in U.S. Mothers’ Milk", the PBDE in U.S. human milk show "extremely elevated levels (10–100 times) in many participants compared with contemporaneous levels reported in Europe".


The data on humans is far from conclusive, and it is all from population studies and suggests correlative rather than causative links, if any.
I wonder what data you had leading you to claim that _all_ the PBDE data on human are from population studies? Your claim is obviously false or may be outdated. The human study cited at the beginning is NOT a population study. It was based on the blood samples and interviews of 270 pregnant women.


Note, I'm not saying that this stuff is good for anyone, or even that it's not causing problems, only that we just don't know.
We do know that PBDE is correlated with the reported problems.

It is only prudent to be cautious about PBDE. Avoid it when there is an alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seriously, we do know quite a bit about this already. It is harmful, it has been proved to cause issues in humans and other animals:

http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/pbde/brief.cfm

and one directly involving fish (the references alone are worth reading):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2174405/

If you want to use it, fine. Be my guest. However, I do believe this is important to note that many of the companies are even coming out and stating they will be using different ways to make sewing materials safer for the consumer and the environment.

All I know is that I would get really congested after using certain quilt batting. I stopped using the flame retardant ones and I feel fine. Proof enough for me and several other quilters that were kind enough to let me know this could be the cause. The plus side is they are getting pressure to removal chemicals from the battings and have come out with alternatives. If it says flame-resistant, you are putting your fish at risk. And this it didn't harm my fish or claiming we don't know enough about it when scientific evidence points to the contrary, doesn't make it safe. Just ask people in Meigs county, Ohio what perfluorooctanoic acid did to them and the environment. People like to dispute C8 just as well despite overwhelming evidence.

However, if you want to use it, be my guest. It's your tank. But if I were breeding or keeping expensive fish, it's something to think about and research.
 

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I own a a case of bating I bought on sale a year ago and have had absolutely no problems or fish deaths with it on my FX5's and CFS500 as it is great at long term polishing on circumferential filters. In stacked basket filters it just clogs too Quickly due to there small surface area. If your concerned about chemicals just run your canister out of the bathtub of water for an hour, that will eliminate most of it and drop the any toxicity to "parts per billion", much less then we absorb from clothing, blanket, and pillows. The fish will be fine
 
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