Posted on 10/10/2016 in News 32 2016
Paediatric nurses’ knowledge of flame retardants

A study based on an online survey (c. 40 questions) of 417 paediatric nurses in the USA claims to provide a scientific assessment of their level of knowledge concerning flame retardants.

Scientific methods (e.g. “Walz and Baussel internal question content validation”) unfortunately do not modify the inherent initial bias of the approach, which starts from the claim that “flame retardants do not protect from fires” and that “they” cause a range of medical / toxicological problems. The latter claim appears to be based on five listed halogenated flame retardants for which such problems are indicated in the paper, in contradiction to the survey’s second question “There are many different types of flame retardant”. The paper specifies the percentage of nurses giving the “correct” answer to each survey question – but does not specify what the authors consider to be the correct answer. Assuming that the authors do recognise that there are many different types of FR, then 77% of nurses also are informed of this. Assuming that the authors consider that FRs do not stop the spread of fires and do not protect children from fire injuries, then 64% and 83% of nurses disagree with these statements and on the contrary do consider that flame retardants are effective and useful.

“Assessing Pediatric Nurses’ Knowledge About Chemical Flame Retardants”, L. Distelhorst et al., J. Pediatric Nursing 2016 

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