High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals Contaminate Cats And Dogs

High Levels of Toxic Industrial Chemicals Contaminate Cats And Dogs

Summary and Findings

They are trying their best to warn us.

In the first study of its kind, Environmental Working Group found that American pets are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns.

The results show that America’s pets are serving as involuntary sentinels of the widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals—wild, domesticated and human.

Detailed findings

Dogs:The 20 dogs tested included 5 mutts or mixes and 15 dogs of 7 different breeds, including a Pug, Great Dane, Dachshund, Great Pyrenees, and others. In the group, 12 dogs were female and 8 male; ages ranged between 6 months and 12 years (average age 6.3 years). The laboratory analyzed composite blood and urine samples collected from the animals. The dogs’ blood and urine was contaminated with 35 chemicals altogether. These included 7 chemicals (20%) with average levels at least 5 times higher than typical levels in people, and another 7 chemicals with average levels up to 5 times amounts found in people. Relative to people, dogs showed high levels of stain- and grease-proof chemicals (perfluorochemicals in the Teflon family), plastics chemicals called phthalates, and fire retardants called PBDEs:

  • Teflon chemicals – Highest levels. Tests showed 6 of 13 perfluorochemicals present in dog blood, with five at levels higher than those in more than 80 percent of people tested nationally, including 2 at levels more than 5 times higher than average amounts in people. Dogs were polluted with 2 chemicals in the Teflon family of stain- and grease-proof coatings (perfluorochemicals) at higher levels than any detected in people in national studies by EWG and CDC (perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) and perfluorohexanoic sulfonate (PFHxS)). Only PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), known as the “Teflon chemical” because it has been used to make Teflon and other non-stick pans, was detected at levels in the range of what is typically found in people (45th percentile) as opposed to far in excess. For dogs likely sources of exposure include food contaminated with PFCs leaching from dog food bag coatings, as well as house dust, and stain-proofed furniture, dog beds, and carpets.

 

  • Toxins in plastic toys and medicines. Dogs were contaminated with breakdown products of four plastic softeners (phthalates) at average levels higher than those in more than 80 percent of Americans tested nationally, at levels ranging between 1.1 and 4.5 times the average concentrations in people. These included breakdown products of DEHP, DBP, and DBzP, which are used in veterinary medicines, plastic containers and toys, shampoos, and a huge range of other consumer products. Six of 7 phthalate breakdown products were found in dogs altogether. These chemicals pose risks for reproductive damage, birth defects, and cancer.

 

  • Fire retardants in bedding, house dust, and food. Dog samples contained 19 different fire retardant chemicals known as PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, of 46 chemicals tested. Compared to people, levels were very elevated for highly brominated forms of these chemicals, with 5 compounds that are octaBDEs, nonaBDEs, and decaBDE found at levels higher than between 97 and 99 percent of people tested nationally, ranging up to 17 times the average amounts in people. PBDEs disrupt the normal functioning of thyroid hormones and pose risks to the brain during development. For dogs, potential sources of exposure include foam furniture and bedding manufactured before 2005, contaminated air and house dust, and food contaminated with PBDEs that pollute the environment, especially seafood.

Cats:Veterinary technicians collected blood and urine samples from 37 cats, which included 13 female and 21 males cats (gender not reported for 3 cats). The group included cats with ages from 9 months to 17 years. The laboratory analyzed blood and urine samples composited from all the animals. The cats’ blood and urine was contaminated with 46 chemicals altogether. These included 25 chemicals (54%) with average levels at least 5 times higher than typical levels in people, and another 18 chemicals (39%) with average levels up to 5 times amounts found in people. Relative to people, cats showed very high levels of neurotoxic fire retardants called PBDEs and methylmercury, a pollutant from coal power plants and a common seafood contaminant.

  • Teflon chemicals. Cats were polluted with 8 of 13 chemicals tested in the Teflon family of stain and grease-proof coatings (perfluorochemicals, or PFCs), including 6 at very high levels, above amounts found in between 89 and 99 percent of people tested in national studies, and 4 found at levels more than 5 times average amounts in people. The Scotchgard chemical PFOS, phased out of use by 3M over health concerns in 2000, was found at markedly low levels in cats, at one-quarter of the levels in dogs and in amounts lower than those found in 91 percent of people tested in national studies. PFOA, the “Teflon chemical”, was detected at levels in the range of what is typically found in people (45th percentile). The skewed profiles of PFC exposures in cats relative to humans, with 6 different PFCs occurring at levels far in excess of those typical in people, suggests that cats may have unique exposures or different metabolic responses compared to people. Likely sources of PFCs in cats include food contaminated with PFCs leaching from food bag coatings, house dust, and stain-proofed furniture, cat beds, and carpets.

 

  • Toxins in plastic toys and medicines. Cats’ samples contained 6 out of 7 breakdown products of five industrial plasticizers called phthalates. Cats were polluted with the breakdown product of DMP (dimethyl phthalate) at an average level higher than amounts in every one of more than 5,500 people tested by CDC. In addition to its use in plastics and other consumer products, DMP is an insect repellant with reported uses in flea and tick collars and veterinary medicines. Cats’ samples contained other phthalate breakdown products at low to moderate levels, in excess of amounts found in between 4 and 76 percent of Americans tested in national studies. Cats can be exposed to phthalates from veterinary medicines, plastic containers and toys, and a huge range of other consumer products. Phthalates raise risks for reproductive damage, birth defects, and cancer.

 

  • Fire retardants in bedding, house dust, and food. Cat samples contained 29 of 46 different fire retardant chemicals known as PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, with 16 found at levels higher than amounts in any of the 100 to 2,000 people tested for these chemicals in national studies. The total concentration of all PBDEs in cats was higher than levels in 98 percent of Americans tested, and 26 of 29 individual PBDE chemicals found were at average levels in excess of what is found in 90 percent of the U.S. population. For cats, potential sources of exposure include foam furniture and bedding manufactured before 2005, contaminated air and house dust, and food contaminated with PBDEs that pollute the environment, especially seafood.

Conclusions

The body burden testing conducted in this investigation is the most expansive ever published for companion animals. The study indicates that cats and dogs are exposed to complex mixtures of industrial chemicals, often at levels far in excess of those found in people. Our pets well may be serving as sentinels for our own health, as they breathe in, ingest or absorb the same chemicals that are in our environments. Exposures that pose risks for pets pose risks for human health as well. A new system of public health protections that required companies to prove chemicals are safe before they are sold would help protect all of us, including the pets we love.

We can help ensure great pet health

Taken daily, small amounts of high-quality colloidal silver will greatly improve your pet’s health.

Advertisements

About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: