Navigation Links
Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
Date:8/15/2007

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2007 A mysterious epidemic of thyroid disease among pet cats in the United States may be linked to exposure to dust shed from flame retardants in household carpeting, furniture, fabrics and pet food, scientists are reporting in a study scheduled for publication the Aug. 15 online issue of Environmental Science & Technology, a semi-monthly journal from the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society.

Janice A. Dye, DVM, Ph.D., at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues from there as well as Indiana University and the University of Georgia, report evidence linking the disease to exposure to environmental contaminants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which the researchers found to be elevated in blood samples of hyperthyroid cats. Their findings were based on analysis of blood samples from 23 pet cats, 11 of which had the disease, termed feline hyperthyroidism (FH). PBDE levels in the hyperthyroid cats were three times as high as those in younger, non-hyperthyroid cats.

Concerns about the possible health effects of PDBEs arose in the late 1990s, and studies have reported that PDBEs cause liver and nerve toxicity in animals. FH is one of the most common and deadly diseases in older cats, and indoor pets are thought to be most at-risk. For starters, cats ingest large amounts of PBDE-laden house dust that the researchers believe comes from consumer household products.

Dye, a toxicologist, began by hypothesizing that prolonged contact with certain polyurethane foams and components of carpet padding, furniture and mattresses would pose the greatest hazard for developing FH. In addition, the researchers suspected that diet might be another risk factor for developing FH. To see if a link existed, they analyzed PBDE content in several cat food brands.

Their analysis found that PBDE content of canned fish/seafood flavors, such as salmon and whitefish, was higher than dry or non-seafood canned items. Based on the analysis, they estimate that diets based on canned food could have PBDE levels 12 times as high as dry-food diets. The researchers indicate that pet cats might be receiving as much as 100 times greater dietary PBDE exposure than American adults.

With their meticulous grooming behavior, cats may ingest large amounts of dust that collect on their fur. Our results showed that cats are being consistently exposed to PBDEs, Dye said. Because they are endocrine-disrupting agents, cats may well be at increased risk for developing thyroid effects.

The danger of contracting feline hyperthyroidism might be greater in America, where people have the highest reported PBDE levels worldwide, the study said. Also, by the late 1990s, North America accounted for almost half of the global demand for PBDEs from commercial materials like furniture or upholstery, the report added.

The epidemic of hyperthyroidism in cats began almost 30 years ago, at the same time when PBDEs were introduced into household materials as a fire-prevention measure. Although the disease was first discovered in the U.S., it has since been diagnosed in Canada, Australia, Japan and many parts of Europe. Hyperthyroid disorders have also increased in humansformer President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush have the disorder, and even Millie, their Springer Spaniel, had contracted it.

Symptoms of the syndrome in cats include weight loss, an increase in appetite, hair loss and irritability. Cats and humans are the only mammals with high incidences of hyperthyroidism, Dye said. The study concludes that hyperthyroid cats could serve as modern-day versions of the canaries in the cage that alerted coal miners to poisonous gas.

While the link between hyperthyroidism in cats and their elevated PBDE levels requires additional confirmation, it is clear that house cats may be able to serve as sentinels for indoor exposure to PBDEs for humans who share their houses, said Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., a co-author of the study. No link between human hyperthyrodism and PBDE exposure has been established, Birnbaum noted, adding that some ongoing studies do suggest such a connection. Although several states have banned use of certain PBDEs in commercial products, there are no regulations limiting PBDE content in foods, according to Birnbaum.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
2. Novel Asthma Study Shows Multiple Genetic Input Required; Single-gene Solution Shot Down
3. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
4. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
5. Emory Study Tests Bone Marrow Stem Cells to Improve Circulation in Legs
6. UCLA Study Shows One-Third of Drug Ads in Medical Journals Do Not Contain References Supporting Medical Claims
7. Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible
8. Study Links Ebola Outbreaks To Animal Carcasses
9. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
10. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
11. NYU Study Reveals How Brains Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/8/2016)... MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... sensor-based diagnostic products, today announced the closing of a $9 ... investors.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate ... device for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. ... after receiving CE Mark approval. The device,s introduction has been ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... 2016 This BCC Research report studies the ... and devices, identifying newer markets and exploring the expansion ... biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 to 2020. ... and explore the expansion of the present application market ... of biometric technology, determine its current market size, and ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... 7, 2016  A United States District Court in ... in the country to interpret a biometric privacy statute ... forward against the photo website Shutterfly brought by the law ... NORBERG vs. SHUTTERFLY, INC.; and THISLIFE, INC ( ... Shutterfly violates the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act by collecting ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Md. , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated ... to the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today ... and Uniden in the Northern District of ... moving forward.  Inter Partes Re-examination ... U.S. Patent Office.  The IPR was initiated on only ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , February 4, 2016 Strasbourg, ... (ABL), Inc. --> Strasbourg, France , ... --> PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it acted ... biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit in Strasbourg, France , ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. ... on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory ... has approved an inducement award as a component ... its newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.  ... Committee on February 1, 2016 and granted as ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016 Harvard Apparatus Regenerative ... company developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening conditions ... that CEO Jim McGorry , will present ... on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 8:00 ... . HART,s presentation will be webcast live ...
Breaking Biology Technology: