There are certain things we know to avoid in order to protect our health. Sitting on the sofa certainly isn’t one of them, but experts have warned that toxic chemicals used to fireproof your settee could be causing a surge in thyroid cancers.
The research revealed that people who are exposed to high levels of flame retardants are more than twice as likely to develop the cancer.
Thyroid cancer cases have risen by 74 per cent in the last decade in the UK, with researchers blaming the rising rates on flame retardants.
After analysing household dust and taking blood samples from people with thyroid cancer, the scientists from Duke University found the patients had a high exposure to flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
These were banned in 2004 but are still in the homes of people with furniture bought before that time.
Heather Stapleton from Duke University in North Carolina is set to present the study findings to a conference next month.
“The chemicals are released as household dust and enter our bodies on our food and hands, with the highest levers found in children,” she told The Sunday Times.
“Our study looked at people with thyroid cancer and at healthy controls,” she continued.
“We found the group with cancer had significantly higher exposure to decaBDE.”
But sofas aren’t the only seemingly innocuous everyday things that have been linked to cancer. Click through our slideshow of other weird things that supposedly up your cancer risk.
Though there’s some scientific background behind all the links, the words ‘pinch’ and ‘salt’ definitely spring to mind.
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