ThePoliticalCat

A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Health - Your Cat And Toxic Chemical Exposure


First, kitty. Next, your kids. Then, you. The L.A. Times reports on the link between thyroid disease in cats and exposure to common household contaminants.
An epidemic of thyroid disease among pet cats could be caused by toxic flame retardants that are widely found in household dust and some pet food, government scientists reported Wednesday.

The often-lethal disease was rare in cats until the 1980s, when it began appearing widely, particularly in California cats. That was at the same time industry started using large volumes of brominated flame retardants in consumer products, including furniture cushions, electronics, mattresses and carpet padding.

Scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency noted a possible connection between hyperthyroidism and flame retardants. The chemicals -- known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs -- mimic thyroid hormones, so experts have theorized that high exposure in cats could cause overactive thyroids.

Cats that remain indoors and eat fish-flavored canned food were found to be the most highly contaminated.

A major unanswered question is whether cats are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signaling health dangers for their owners. Cats and human beings are the only mammals with a high rate of hyperthyroidism.

So far, no link has been established between human endocrine disorders and exposure to flame retardants. However, "there is growing concern," the scientists wrote.

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1 Comments:

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

Thanks for the info, PolCat.

Those two are just too adorable!!

 

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