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Household chemicals could cause an increase in thyroid disease in cats

Cat wearing one of the tags used in the study

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WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Could the new flame retardants currently used in many household products make sick cats?

A new study says that it is possible.

The researchers report that hyperthyroidism rates, the most common endocrine disease in older cats, have exploded since the diagnosis of the first case diagnosed in 1979.

Cats with this disease lose weight, have increased appetite, thirst and urination. Symptoms may also include vomiting, diarrhea and hyperactivity.

Scientists have long suspected that the increase in the number of cases is linked to new household flame retardants, noted the study's authors in a press release issued by the American Chemical Society.

In 2004, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants began to disappear due to environmental and health concerns. They have been replaced by alternatives, including organophosphate esters (OPE), such as tris (1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCIPP).

The research had linked PBDEs – known endocrine disruptors – to hyperthyroidism in cats, but the OPEs had not been studied in this context, the researchers explained.

In this study, toxicology researcher Kim Anderson of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, and her colleagues examined 78 domestic cats aged 7 and older. Half of the cats suffered from hyperthyroidism and the other half. Cats were provided with silicone pet tags that can capture volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

Silicone bracelets have already been used in previous studies to assess people's exposure to chemicals.

The cats in this study wore the silicone tags for seven days. The researchers then analyzed the labels and found higher levels of TDCIPP on the labels of cats with hyperthyroidism.

Among cats without hyperthyroidism, there was a link between exposure to TDCIPP and elevated hormone levels in hyperthyroidism in cats.

Higher levels of TDCIPP on cat tags have been associated with the use of air freshener at home, homes built since 2005 and a preference for napping on upholstered furniture. , have discovered the investigators.

The study was published on July 10 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

More information

To learn more about feline hyperthyroidism, check out the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, press release of July 10, 2019

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