Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Bromine is a chemical compound frequently used in flame retardants, baking ingredients, cell phones, plastic, dye, soda, and prescription drugs. Despite the warnings from the Centers for Disease Control about the serious, long-term health effects from constant exposure, use of the chemical shows no signs of slowing down. Why should you care? Because research has identified the following 10 dangers of bromine as the most damaging to human health.
1. Disrupts Thyroid Function
Exposure to bromine severely impacts the thyroid gland and causes hormonal issues. Bromine competes with iodine, an essential nutrient that supports the health of the thyroid. Bromine and iodine are absorbed in similar fashion and animal research has found that bromine exposure limits availability of iodine to the thyroid and interferes with hormone production.    . The flame retardant PCBE, for example, has specifically been fingered as a thyroid and endocrine disruptor. This is a HUGE problem — an impaired thyroid can lead to hypothyroidism, goiter, and hormonal imbalance.
2. Increased Risk of Preterm Birth and Birth Defects
Iodine plays an integral role in conception and gestation. When bromine replaces iodine during pregnancy, expectant mothers may be at an increased risk for delivering preterm babies. Avoiding bromine can be tricky as it’s often used during water purification. One study found that mothers exposed to higher levels of bromine showed an increased risk of preterm delivery. An Australian study even reported a link between bromide exposure and birth defects.
3. Slows Neural and Cognitive Development
Children exposed to high levels of brominated compounds (PBDEs) in flame retardants are known to suffer development issues. In one study, researchers tracked children born with high levels of PBDEs for six years. At all stages, their mental and physical development lagged behind children with lower, “acceptable” levels of PBDEs. Based on this fact alone, it’s shocking that any bromine exposure could be considered acceptable.
4. Cognitive Failure
Mental dysfunction related to the overexposure to bromine is so common it even has a name — bromism. In one specific case of bromism, a patient consumed vast amounts of soda that contained brominated vegetable oil. The patient experienced problems including fatigue, headache, memory problems, and loss of muscle control. Next time you reach for a soda, check the label!
5. Contributes to Mental Illness?
Psychosis, schizophrenia, and other mental health consequences, as a result of bromine exposure, has been known for decades. Nearly 30 years ago, researchers speculated that some mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, may be misdiagnosed. Why? Because in some cases, reducing bromine levels decreased or eliminated schizophrenia symptoms. Thus, many experts believe some mental conditions may simply be a symptom of an underlying nutritional problem.
6. Skin Disorders
When bromine comes in direct contact with the skin, it can irritate or burn. Exposure to bromine has also been linked to the development of cherry angiomas and lesions.   This effect has been known for almost a century, with the term “bromine acne” noted in a text from 1926. These pus-filled eruptions and lesions were observed in individuals who took bromine for nerve conditions.
7. DNA Damage
Recent research has determined that potassium bromate, a common baking ingredient, causes oxidative damage to DNA. To date, the research has involved animals; however, the human population consumes the most of this compound on a daily basis and many people are extremely concerned of its negative health implications!
8. Carcinogenic Potential
The International Agency for the Research on Cancer has identified potassium bromate (the ingredient used in bread and baking) as a known carcinogen. Although tests have only been performed on animals, the Agency states it may also behave as a carcinogen in humans.
9. Toxic to the Kidneys
Potassium bromate is a known kidney toxin and has killed human embryonic kidney cells in lab tests. Even the CDC acknowledges bromine may cause kidney damage. Bottom line, if you prefer healthy kidneys, avoid bromine!
10. Hearing Loss
Ears require a balance of potassium and sodium, two minerals that are helpful for promoting proper hearing. When tested on animals, potassium bromate created chemical imbalances within the inner ear. Researchers believe that an imbalance of nutrients may lead to hearing loss in humans.
Protecting Yourself from Bromine
Bromine’s interferes with proper thyroid function, hormone synthesis, and kidney health. And those are just a few of the many problems associated with excessive bromine intake. Reducing your exposure to bromine and related chemicals, such as potassium bromate, is a key step to protecting your health. The next step is to ensure you have adequate iodine levels, which can be accomplished by eating iodine-rich foods or supplementing with a high-quality iodine supplement.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Updated August 2014
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Previous articles by Dr. Group:
- Ten Shocking Facts about Mercury Amalgam
- The 9 Best Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support
- The Benefits of Himalayan Salt
- How to Flush the Liver
- Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil
- The Benefits of Organic Hemp Milk + How to Make Your Own
- What is Azodicarbonamide? 9 Facts About This Dangerous Food Additive
- 8 Must-Know Facts About Fukushima Nuclear Radiation
- Nine Shocking Dangers of Fluoride Exposure
- 10 Natural Remedies for Kidney Stones
- Seven Facts You May Not Know About Coconut Oil
About the author:
Dr. Edward F. Group founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.
Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.