17 August 2007 00:20 [Source: ICIS news]
By Gene Lockard
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Growing evidence suggests that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), found in many household products, may be linked to impaired thyroid functioning in house cats, a scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday.
PBDEs have been in use as flame retardants in household products such as carpeting, mattresses, televisions and computers, and some furniture since the 1970s.
House cats in the EPA study had blood serum levels of PBDE 20-100 times higher than the median levels of PBDEs found in adult humans living in ?xml:namespace>
High levels of PBDEs are linked to hyperthroidism, which can cause weight loss, hair loss, irritability and even death.
House dust and cat food containing salmon or whitefish were found to be the chief sources of PBDE exposure in cats, according to Janice Dye, a veterinary internist at the EPA.
Dye said cats were a sentinel species for PBDE exposure in children. Some studies indicate children under the age of four years have levels of PBDE significantly greater than adults.
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