This has been mentioned before here, but bears repeating:
Flame Retardants & Women's Thyroid
Women are five times more likely to develop thyroid problems than men, and a new study from Harvard suggests that elevated blood levels of flame retardant chemicals may play a role, particularly among post-menopausal women. The chemicals at issue are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used as flame-retardants for decades, mostly in furniture where they can constitute up to 20 percent of the weight. The chemicals migrate from furniture into the air and settle in dust in homes, schools, offices and outdoors, the researchers reported. They also accumulate in fatty tissue in humans and interfere with hormonal functions, including thyroid hormones. The researchers measured levels of four common PBDEs in blood samples of women participating in a national health study and compared the results with the women's history of thyroid disorders. They found that women with the highest PBDE concentrations in their blood were significantly more likely to have thyroid problems including hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels), hyperthyroidism, goiter or Hashimoto's disease than women whose blood samples showed the lowest PDBE concentrations. Because PBDEs have been implicated in the disruption of estrogenic activity, and estrogen levels regulate thyroid hormones, women are more likely than men to experience the effects of exposure to PBDE, and post-menopausal women may be particularly vulnerable to PBDE induced thyroid effects, they explained.