Magazine article USA TODAY

High Levels Found in Pet Dogs

Magazine article USA TODAY

High Levels Found in Pet Dogs

Article excerpt

Chemical flame retardants have been found in the blood of pet dogs at concentrations five to 10 times higher than in humans, but lower than levels found in a previous study of cats, relates research appearing in Environmental Science & Technology. Study authors Marta Venier and Ronald Hites explore whether pets could serve as "biosentials" for monitoring human exposure to compounds present in the households that they share. Dogs may be better proxies than cats, they indicate, because a canine's metabolism is better equipped to break down the chemicals.

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PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) have been used widely as flame retardants in household furniture and electronics equipment. They can migrate out of the products and enter the environment. PBDE mixtures made up of less-brominated compounds are regarded as more dangerous because they bioaccumulate in animal tissues. These mixtures were banned by the European Union and were removed voluntarily from the U.S. market in 2004, but remain in the environment. …

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