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Last Edited: 5/12/2011

Flame Retardant Exposure in Flight Attendants (FREFA) study
02/2010 - 12/2011


Many of the components of airline cabins, such as the seats and plastic parts, have historically been treated with Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) flame retardants. Previous research has shown that passengers on international commercial flights have higher levels of PBDEs in their blood after their flight. Since flight attendants spend many hours inside commercial aircraft, it is possible that they have higher exposure to these compounds than the general population of the United States.

Currently, there is not enough research on PBDEs in humans to know whether or not there is a health risk. The purpose of the FREFA study is to measure the levels of PBDEs and possibly other flame retardants in the blood and urine of flight attendants, in order to compare them to the general U.S. population.

The FREFA study is being conducted by the California Department of Public Health.          

Thank you to the flight attendants who volunteered to participate in FREFA.  If you have any follow-up or additional questions please email us.

To learn more about the study, please send an email to the project manager