Flame-retardant-in-natural-thatch-bald-eagles-eggs-300x196

As a green building designer, you probably are aware that many companies that treat natural thatched roofing materials with flame retardants have moved to a more eco-friendly version. They claim that it’s non toxic and perfectly safe. Yet, scientists and environmentalists aren’t so sure.

Essentially, both types of flame retardants that are commonly used on natural thatched roofs for fire-proofing to meet building codes have ended up in air, water, and biota samples throughout the Great Lakes. So, that includes, so-called “safe” flame retardants. Now, scientists have learned that concentrations of these flame retardants have also been found in bald eagles.

Bald eagle eggs from the 2000 to 2012 from the Michigan Bald Eagle Biosentinel Program archives were examined. Various flame retardant chemicals were found in between most of and all of the eagle eggs depending on the particular chemical. The results were published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by environmental scientists at Indiana University.

Flame Retardant Chemicals Readily Metabolized

“Most of these flame retardants and related chemicals can be readily metabolized,” said Marta Venier, a scientist in the IU Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs said according to a IU press release. “The issue here is that, in some cases, the metabolites can be more toxic than the parent compounds.”

As a green building designer, your clients are depending on you to seek out the most environmentally friendly building materials available. We’ve touched on why Endureed synthetic thatch shingles are the greener choice. Plus, we talked about how you can explain to your clients why our durable, cost-effective synthetic thatch is the environmentally friendly option. Now, there’s yet another reason.

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