From San Francisco, at the Experimental Biology 2006 meeting
Studies in recent years have found growing concentrations of certain brominated chemicals in the blood of people worldwide. Manufacturers use these substances widely as flame retardants in plastics and foams. Although the chemicals have caused neurological and developmental impairments in test animals, nobody had probed the flame retardants' effects on animals' body fat, which is where the chemicals accumulate. Now, scientists report that in rodents, the flame retardants provoke fat cell changes that appear to boost the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.