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Link to Feline Hyperthyroidism uncovered


The US journal of Environmental Science & Technology has reported research indicating that household cats have extraordinarily high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, (PBDEs) in their blood.

PBDEs are the chemicals used as flame retardants in many household furnishings.
The American Chemical Society has suggested that an epidemic of thyroid disease among pet cats in the US may be linked to exposure to dust shed from such flame retardants in household carpeting, furniture, fabrics and pet food.

Researchers found elevated PBDEs in blood samples of hyperthyroid cats. Their findings were based on analysis of blood samples from 23 pet cats, 11 of which had feline hyperthyroidism. PBDE levels in the hyperthyroid cats were found to be 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. Feline hyperthyroidism is one of the most common and deadly diseases in older cats, and indoor pets are thought to be most at-risk. Cats ingest large amounts of PBDE-laden house dust that the researchers believe comes from consumer household products.