Fish Swim Slower If Parents Are Exposed to Flame Retardants

Zebrafish. Credits: AJC1/Flickr(CC)

Young zebrafish exposed to flame retardants through their mothers swam up to 60 percent slower and had reduced gene expression important for nervous system development, a new study has found. In natural settings, slower swimmers are easier targets for predators. The new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, is unique because it shows in fish that exposure to PBDEs, found in some furniture and electronics, can lead to developmental and behavioral changes in their offspring. Such early life changes to the neurological system can lead to learning and behavioral problems later in life.