In this article, researchers found “astronomical concentrations” of deca-BDE in the residents of Guiyu, and the article cites studies showing that related PBDEs harm brain development in mice and rats. So, has any actual increase in brain-development problems been found in people in and around Guiyu?

Joanne Raisner Narad
Los Altos, Calif.

The researchers know of no such health-effects assessment. They say that it would be hard to distinguish the effects of PBDEs from those of other factors in a worker’s environment and that no scientist can ethically dose people with PBDEs to see what happens. —S. Webb