Common Household Chemical May Cause Hyperthyroidism in Cats

first_img Feline hyperthyroidism is the most common endocrine-related conditions affecting older cats.And while the causes remain unknown, researchers believe hormone-disrupting chemicals in household flame retardants may be one culprit.In the mid-1970s, manufacturers began mixing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) into textiles, furniture, plastics, and electronics.Businesses began phasing out those flame retardants in 2004, due to environmental and health concerns; alternatives like organophosphate esters (OPEs) were added instead.But recent research suggests these modern compounds—just like PBDEs—can act as endocrine disruptors.To test this theory, analysts from New York and Oregon employed silicone pet tags (similar to the charity wristbands everyone sported in the noughties) to assess exposure to various flame retardants.Silicone can pick up volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds without harming the wearer; wristbands made of the synthetic material have been used to monitor human exposure to environmental chemicals.The team recruited 78 housecats aged seven years and older—half with hyperthyroidism and half without—to wear a tag for seven days.Upon examination, researchers found higher levels of OPEs from those animals with the disease—associated with air freshener use, houses built since 2005, and cats that prefer to nap on upholstered furniture.The most common presenting symptoms of feline hyperthyroidism include rapid weight loss, rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive appetite, increased consumption of fluids, and, in turn, increased urine production.The same three treatments used with humans are also options for cats: surgery, radioiodine treatment, and antithyroid drugs.Results of the study were published this week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.More on ‘Cat-Fox’ Found in French Island Could Be New SpeciesTexas Couple Challenges Petco’s ‘All Leashed Pets Welcome’ PolicyUncover Your Pet’s Ancestry With Cat DNA Test Stay on target Firefighters Respond to Fire Alarm at Shelter, Discover Cat Triggered ItStrange ‘Cat-Fox’ Found in French Island Could Be New Species last_img

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