The chemicals in fire-resistant products help keep your home safe — but they appear to be endangering species in the Norwegian Arctic. Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are showing up in high concentrations in the region’s polar bears, whose cubs have a lower survival rate than elsewhere, as well as in the eggs of local seabirds, which area residents have been advised not to eat. Other affected species include seals, foxes, and gulls. Although concerns about Arctic contamination aren’t new, the levels of other chemicals (such as PCBs and DDT) are falling, whereas BFR levels are on the rise. According to Geir Wing Gabrielsen, a scientist who has studied the region for 20 years, BFR levels in seals are three times higher than they were a decade ago.