Nav: Home

High levels of chemicals found in indoor cats

February 24, 2017

A study from Stockholm University have now established what was previously suspected, that the high levels of brominated flame retardants measured in cats are from the dust in our homes. The study has been published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The study shows that cats are exposed to chemicals found in electronics and furniture, chemicals that become dust and can adversely affect health. It is the first time that this connection has been verified. In a previous study, the researchers demonstrated that brominated flame retardants were found in higher concentrations in the blood of cats that had developed Feline hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism in cats) compared to healthy cats. Now, new measurements of healthy cats establish their dust exposure. Paired samples were taken from the same household, i.e. they took both dust samples and blood samples at the same time.

Exposure to chemicals

"By taking paired samples, we have greater insight into the environment that the cats live in. Moreover the cats in the study spent the majority of their time indoors and therefore air and dust in the home is expected to contribute more than the outdoor environment", says Jana Weiss at the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University.

The results are very interesting because small children, notorious for putting everything in their mouths, have exposures to these chemicals similar to cats.

"The brominated flame retardants that have been measured in cats are known endocrine disruptors. It's particularly serious when small children ingest these substances because exposure during the development can have consequences later in life, such as thyroid disease", says Jana Weiss.

About brominated flame retardants

Brominated flame retardants are added to textiles, furniture and electronic equipment to prevent the material from igniting. Many of the brominated flame retardants have been found to be health hazards, and some are suspected endocrine disruptors. A number of them have been prohibited for these reasons in products like electronic goods. However, they are extremely persistent and can leach from the products for many years after they have been produced, ultimately becoming part of dust.
-end-
About the study

The researchers took blood samples from cats and gathered dust in the children's room, the adults' bedroom and the living room. The samples were then analysed for brominated and chlorinated contaminants. The researchers found not only those that are currently in use, but also chemicals that have been banned for decades.

The article Cats' Internal Exposure to Selected Brominated Flame Retardants and Organochlorines Correlated to House Dust and Cat Food can be read here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.6b05025

The MISSE project

The study is part of an ongoing project called MiSSE (Mixture Assessment of Endocrine Disrupting Compounds). The project aims to identify and evaluate the mix of endocrine disruptors we have in our indoor environment. The project will have a final conference in Stockholm on November 29, 2017 where all results will be presented and discussed.

For further information contact

Jana Weiss, scientific coordinator of the project MiSSE, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry at Stockholm University, e-mail jana.weiss@aces.su.se.

Press Office +46 (0) 16 40 90.

Stockholm University

Related Endocrine Disruptors Articles:

Endocrine Society issues Scientific Statement on obesity's causes
A new Scientific Statement issued by the Endocrine Society calls for more research aimed specifically at understanding the underlying mechanisms that make it difficult to maintain long-term weight loss.
Pre-clinical study suggests Parkinson's could start in gut endocrine cells
Duke University researchers have identified a potential new mechanism in both mice and human endocrine cells that populate the small intestines.
Endocrine Society issues statement to improve detection of curable forms of hypertension
A new Scientific Statement issued by the Endocrine Society advises healthcare providers on ways to spot hormonal causes of high blood pressure that can be cured with surgery or treated effectively with medication.
Endocrine Society, Medscape partner to bring endocrine expertise to clinicians worldwide
The Endocrine Society and Medscape announced today a new partnership that brings together the Society's expertise and Medscape's innovative, peer-to-peer digital platforms and award-winning content to provide clinicians with the latest guidance and most relevant insights on diagnosing and treating diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, infertility, and other endocrine disorders.
New autoimmune endocrine disease triggered by thymomas
A Japanese research group has discovered that a newly-identified autoimmune endocrine disease that leads to hypopituitarism is caused by thymomas (a type of tumor originating from the thymic gland).
More Endocrine Disruptors News and Endocrine Disruptors Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...