A study from Stockholm University has now established what was previously suspected, that the high levels of brominated flame retardants measured in cats are from the dust in our homes.
The study shows that cats are exposed to chemicals found in electronics and furniture, chemicals that become dust and can adversely affect health. It is the first time that this connection has been verified. In a previous study, the researchers demonstrated that brominated flame retardants were found in higher concentrations in the blood of cats that had developed Feline hyperthyroidism (hyperthyroidism in cats) compared to healthy cats. Now, new measurements of healthy cats can establish their dust exposure.
“The brominated flame retardants that have been measured in cats are known endocrine disruptors. It’s particularly serious when small children ingest these substances because exposure during the development can have consequences later in life, such as thyroid disease,” says Jana Weiss of the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry at Stockholm University.
Brominated flame retardants are added to textiles, furniture and electronic equipment to prevent them from igniting. Many brominated flame retardants have been found to be health hazards, and some are suspected endocrine disruptors. A number of them have been prohibited for these reasons in products like electronics. However, they are extremely persistent and can leach from the products for many years after they have been produced, ultimately becoming part of dust.
Maybe it’s time to bump up the Spring Cleaning.
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