An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Oregon State University are teaming up to improve our understanding of children’s exposures to flame retardant compounds, as well as to examine the interplay between flame retardants and adverse social experiences on children’s neuro-cognitive, executive functioning, and behavioral development.

The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health, and recruits 600 children aged 4-8 years in preschool and follow them for 3 years until they graduate from first grade. Recruitment occurs in two waves (2020-2021 and 2021-2022). The primary aims are: (1) assess exposure to OPFRs and BDE among a diverse group of children to improve our understanding of factors that contribute to inter- and intra-individual variability, (2) examine the exposure-response relationship between OPFRs and children’s development between ages 4-8 years, and examine the potential for sex to modify these associations, and (3) examine the moderating influences of social stressors on the association between flame retardant exposures and children’s development.

Project Leads: Drs. Molly Kile (Co-PI), Shannon Lipscomb (Co-PI), Megan McClelland, Megan MacDonald, Kim Anderson, and John Geldhof Oregon State University

For more information on the new NIH-funded study please visit

This study is based on an earlier pilot study in which we found that flame retardant exposures can be measured by a simple wristband that children wear for approximately one week. The amounts of flame retardants found in the wristbands predicted children’s behavioral skills, as rated by their preschool teachers.

The pilot study was supported by two centers at Oregon State University: Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families  and Environmental Health Sciences Center

For more information about the pilot study see:

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