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Scare flares over fire retardant in polar bears
Sydney Morning Herald ^ | June 2, 2004 | By Alister Doyle, in Oslo

Posted on 06/01/2004 7:54:50 AM PDT by dead

Chemicals widely used as flame retardants in homes have been discovered in Arctic polar bears and birds, and could pose a health hazard, Norwegian scientists say.

Now the Government is to seek a European Union review of the chemicals, which are used in everything from computers to clothes.

"Traces of the compounds were found in studies of polar bears and in glaucous gulls," said Geir Wing Gabrielsen, head of a toxicology research program at the Norwegian Polar Institute. "This is the first time that this flame retardant has been found in the Arctic."

Traces of the so-called deca-BDE flame retardant, commonly used in car upholstery and televisions, had previously been found in falcons in Sweden and samples of human blood further south.

But the discovery in Arctic animals, far from sources of pollution and swept north by prevailing winds and ocean currents, was a sign that they might not break down as quickly into harmless units as previously thought, Dr Gabrielsen said.

The European Union will ban two other types of brominated flame retardant, penta-BDE and octa-BDE, this year because of health worries. Norway, a non-member, will ban them, too.

The environmental group WWF called for a ban on deca-BDE, even though it said little was known about its toxicity.

"The fact that it travels long distances, accumulates in wildlife and potentially breaks down into other harmful compounds is, in WWF's view, enough to justify a ban," it said.

Brominated flame retardants save thousands of lives every year by slowing the spread of fires, manufacturers say.

Reuters


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: environment
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Once they’re impervious to fire, they’ll be no stopping the polar bears from ruling the world.
1 posted on 06/01/2004 7:54:51 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
Scare flares over fire retardant in polar bears

Lord knows it's keeping me up nights. :)

2 posted on 06/01/2004 7:57:23 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (I feel more and more like a revolted Charlton Heston, witnessing ape society for the very first time)
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To: dead

I'm happy for the polar bears if they no longer have to live their lives in fear of spontaneous combustion.


3 posted on 06/01/2004 7:58:01 AM PDT by Kenton ("Life is tough, and it's really tough when you're stupid" - Damon Runyon)
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To: dead
Scare flares over fire retardant in polar bears

There's a limerick in here somewhere.

4 posted on 06/01/2004 7:58:31 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Memo to self: Read beyond the headline)
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To: dead
Once they’re impervious to fire, they’ll be no stopping the polar bears from ruling the world.

Exactly {evil laugh}.

The stupid scientists don't realize that the polar bears sneak in at night and lick their computers for the flame retardant. Why, sometimes they chew the computers, and the maroons still don't catch on. Only thing they catch on is fire.

5 posted on 06/01/2004 8:01:26 AM PDT by DonaldDuke
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To: dead; aculeus; general_re; BlueLancer; Poohbah; hellinahandcart; Constitution Day; AnnaZ
Scare flares over fire retardant in polar bears

Terrific headline, perhaps not intended as such.

Bonus.

6 posted on 06/01/2004 8:02:40 AM PDT by dighton
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To: dead

7 posted on 06/01/2004 8:02:58 AM PDT by glock rocks (why is it kids can't read the bible in school, but can read the bible all they want once in prison?)
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To: dighton

LOL! Hung butchers!


8 posted on 06/01/2004 8:04:17 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: martin_fierro

There once was a bear from Polare
Who had an affair with a flare,
He lit up the sky,
With a match he did fry,
And now he's the bear with no hair...........


9 posted on 06/01/2004 8:04:54 AM PDT by Red Badger (DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!!! Redneck with a computer detected!........................)
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To: dead
The environmental group WWF called for a ban on deca-BDE, even though it said little was known about its toxicity.

The other "WWF"(now WWE) was more intelligent. "Oh it's true! It's damn true!"

10 posted on 06/01/2004 8:05:31 AM PDT by Dan from Michigan ("Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America being passive. They were wrong. - Reagan)
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To: martin_fierro

Maybe a hiku?

Polar bear attacks
uh-oh, Knife at a gun fight
Flamethrower useless


11 posted on 06/01/2004 8:05:34 AM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: martin_fierro
At the North Pole when I was once there
was a glow most decidedly rare;
The details might bore ya
but it t'weren't no aurora:
Those Northern Lights came from a bear
12 posted on 06/01/2004 8:05:52 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Memo to self: Read beyond the headline)
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To: dead

I want to know...

How many people wearing fire retardent clothing did the bears EAT before the chemicals began to accumilate?

The gulls? They're carrion birds also.


13 posted on 06/01/2004 8:06:39 AM PDT by steplock (http://www.gohotsprings.com)
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To: glock rocks

After a teddy bear is set aflame, its fur coat is bruined. :)


14 posted on 06/01/2004 8:07:53 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (I feel more and more like a revolted Charlton Heston, witnessing ape society for the very first time)
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To: martin_fierro

"At the North Pole when I was once there
was a glow most decidedly rare;
The details might bore ya
but it t'weren't no aurora:
Those Northern Lights came from a bear"


[applause] Excellent!


15 posted on 06/01/2004 8:08:23 AM PDT by Blzbba
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To: dead

If only Frankenstein's monster had known about this.


16 posted on 06/01/2004 8:10:15 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn't be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: dead

Ha ha ha! Maybe they need it to protect them from the Aurora.


17 posted on 06/01/2004 8:10:52 AM PDT by Gothmog (The 2004 election won't be about what one did in the military, but on how one would use it)
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To: dead
A new and exciting use for polar bears!  I wonder how many of them you'd have to grind up to insulate a 2400 square foot house?

Owl_Eagle

”Guns Before Butter.”

18 posted on 06/01/2004 8:11:10 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (FReep 'em all, let God sort 'em out.)
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To: Blzbba

(bowing)


19 posted on 06/01/2004 8:11:57 AM PDT by martin_fierro (Memo to self: Read beyond the headline)
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To: dead
Bump
To read later
(This has to become a classic thread)
(Maybe a new "moose/cheese" thingy)
20 posted on 06/01/2004 8:12:54 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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