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Food and Nutrition

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are commercially produced substances that are used as flame retardants in a wide variety of consumer products. These compounds are very persistent in the environment. Available information indicates that the primary sources of human exposure to PBDEs are indoor air, indoor dust and food, including human milk. Based on a recent evaluation conducted by Health Canada scientists, the levels of PBDEs in foods consumed by Canadians are not considered to pose a risk to human health.

What is Health Canada Doing?

Health Canada monitors the concentrations of various chemicals, including PBDEs, in foods in its ongoing Total Diet Study surveys. Health Canada also undertakes health risk assessments when new data and information about PBDEs in foods becomes available.

What Can You Do?

Based on Health Canada's assessment, there is no need for dietary changes based on PDBE levels in foods. Health Canada recommends that Canadians consume a variety of foods from each food group included in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

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PBDEs in Fish: