This series "Early-life Exposures — Long-term Health Consequences" features SRP research in revealing the vulnerability of a developing child by identifying how biological systems are disturbed in this early period of life. The series will showcase cutting edge research findings that illuminate the consequences of early life exposures to metals and organic contaminants of emerging concern.
The first session "Early-life Exposures - Long-term Health Consequences: Part 1 Brominated Flame Retardants" features Dr. Linda Birnbaum (Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), Dr. Heather Stapleton (Duke University) and Dr. Prasada Kodavanti (US EPA). The seminar will feature work with brominated flame retardants, compounds that are frequently added to consumer products (such as furniture and electronics) to improve fire safety. Polybrominated flame retardants (PBDEs) can cross the placental barrier from mother to fetus and influence childhood development years later. PBDEs have been associated with alterations in thyroid hormone levels, reduced fertility, and neurodevelopmental deficits.
Dr. Stapleton will present a recent study exploring the association between PBDEs exposure measured in serum levels and thyroid hormone levels among a cohort of pregnant women. Additionally, she will highlight new research insights into possible mechanisms of thyroid hormone dysregulation. Dr. Kodavanti will discuss a study evaluating the neurobehavioral, hormonal, and reproductive effects of perinatal exposure to a commercial PBDE mixture, DE-71, in a population of rats. PBDE was demonstrated to cross the blood-placenta and blood-brain barriers, resulting in subtle changes in some parameters of neurobehavior, dramatic changes in thyroid hormone levels, and alterations in both male and female reproductive endpoints.
The seminar will be moderated by Dr. William A. Suk, Director of the Superfund Research Program at NIEHS.