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Author Topic: Cat disease linked to fire retardant  (Read 428 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 04:04:20 AM »

Cat disease linked to fire retardant

Aug 16, 2007 04:30 AM

WASHINGTON– A new U.S. study suggests household dust containing a common flame retardant may be linked to an increase in cats getting sick from overactive thyroids.

That could be a warning sign for how young children could get exposed to the chemical, said Linda Birnbaum, director of experimental toxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and co-author of the study.

The small study looks at chemical flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which were used in foam, plastics, furniture, fabrics and carpet padding. The sole U.S. manufacturer agreed in 2004 to phase out the types of PBDEs included in the study, but they remain in homes.

The study of 23 cats found older felines with high levels of certain types of PBDEs tended to have overactive thyroids.

Tom Webster, a professor of environmental health at Boston University, said animal research has found PBDEs damage the nervous system and disrupt hormones, but studies haven't been done to look at people's health. "I don't think we know about (human) health yet, but I don't like the sound of this," Webster said.
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