The Link Between Flame Retardants and Thyroid Cancer
In June this year, 2017, I got a diagnosis that sent my world reeling. A neck ultrasound, followed by a biopsy, showed a 3.1cm cyst on my thyroid. The diagnosis, PTC – Papillary Thyroid Cancer! As I write this article, I am blessed to say that I am completely free of this tumor thanks to my wonderful surgeon, Dr Meei Yeung. I had a total Thyroidectomy in July and I am healing well. How though did I get this tumor? I, and thousands like me, may never know, but recently a scientific study showed the link between flame retardants and thyroid cancer, especially PTC.
*I am also grateful to Dr Cerys Jones , who was proactive in sending me for an ultrasound when I told her I had a funny sensation in the right side of my throat, a bit like I had a cotton ball stuck inside it. She felt a thickening of the front of my throat and immediately sent me for tests.
Scientific Study on Papillary Thyroid Cancer and Flame Retardants
In April this year, Professor of Surgery and Medicine Julie Ann Sosa, released her latest study findings on the Endocrine Society website. The study took 140 people of around the same age and lifestyle, 70 of these had PTC . Of those 70 with PTC, 79% were woman, with an average age of 48. I too am just a few months off 47. The other 70 people studied were free of PTC.
The results – those with PTC had significantly higher levels of flame retardant chemical exposure in their homes, compared to the control group.
*Interestingly. I found this study report the night before I went into surgery and I emailed it to my surgeon Dr Yeung. The next day as I lay prepped in the hospital awaiting my surgery, Dr Yeung came in to check on me, she told me that she found the report very interesting and that Professor Julie Ann Sosa is actually a colleague of hers, and that she will be meeting up with her soon at an international conference. Small world!
Trying To Work It Out
I was confused and upset with my diagnosis, after all for the last few years I had predominately eaten vegan and organic food. I don’t ever use toxic chemicals to clean my house, and all my personal care products are safe and natural. Even my professional hair and makeup artist kit is safe and toxic chemical free. It didn’t seem fair, but then again who knows how many years ago this tumor had actually formed?
Thankfully PTC’s are slow growing and considered one of the best cancers to get. My PTC may well have been the result from past accumulative years of exposure to flame retardant chemicals, or it may have come from something else entirely?
However, this is where my mind likes to connect the dots, and although I will never be able to prove it – flame retardants are found in most conventional mattresses, bedding, fabric covered furniture, curtains, carpet, car seats and even in clothing.
For instance, I have no idea what the carpet in the house I currently rent is treated with, or other carpets from the houses I have lived in previously. I am sure my 12 year old, faux suede couch is treated with flame retardants. Also up until 2 years ago, I was sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic mattress. I remember when we went shopping for a new mattress and asking the salesperson, whether the Tempur mattresses contained any toxic chemicals. Back then, I was assured it was safe. It now turns out the Tempur mattresses do off-gas VOC’s . Read more about the Tempur Lawsuit here and also here .
I can’t claim that any of the above caused my tumor, but then again the correlation made in Professor Julie Ann Sosa’s recent study is just too hard for me to ignore.
Grateful To Now Sleep Organically
All I can say is that I am forever grateful that my kids have, since they were toddlers, slept on a certified organic cotton, Organature mattress, complete with all organic, cotton Organature bedding. I am also so glad, that 2 years ago, I decided to get rid of my highly synthetic,, foam Tempur mattress and covert over to a organic Organature bed.
Reducing Your Chemical Load Is The Way To Go
We need to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals as best as we all can, without going to extremes. Remember stressing about things is just as unhealthy for our bodies.
Our own homes and especially our own beds, should be as toxic chemical free as possible.
- Be aware of the mattresses, bedding, furniture and clothing you buy for your families, and where possible, choose certified organic fabrics and untreated fabrics.
*As consumers we have every right to ask questions about the products we are buying and we want to see proof of their safety.
- Eating an organic, low sugar diet is important. Using organic and natural personal care and cleaning products is also very important.
*My surgeon said my tissues were incredibly healthy and young. I put this down to the fact that I now live a healthy, organic lifestyle. Another thing I did was, in the month leading up to my surgery, from the day of my diagnosis, I put myself on an organic alkalizing diet, to ensure my body was in optimal condition for the surgery.
- Vacuum regularly to remove dust around your home, using a he-pa filter vacuum-cleaner. Also, be careful not to breathe in the dust when you empty your vacuum-cleaner, as flame retardant chemicals in the study where measured in the household dust collected in the vacuum-cleaners.
- Regularly open the windows of your home and car to let the fresh air in and the stale air out.
Before you leave, if you enjoyed this article sign up to LivingSafe and stay informed! LivingSafe helping you live healthier & safer.
Other articles of interest