Monday, October 6, 2008

Mysterious Thyroid Disease in Cats

There is a mysterious thyroid disease in cats that is being linked to flame retardants, says EPA chemists. This hyperthyroidism is a new condition for cats that emerged in the 1980's and is today a leading cause of death in cats.

PBDE fire retardants are structurally similar to thyroid hormones. Fire retardant chemicals are believed to migrate out of furniture and then accumulate in house dust, food, animals, and people. People in the United States have the highest PBDE levels in humans worldwide, but our cats are even more exposed--some with levels 100 times greater than humans.

When tested in animals, fire retardant chemicals, even at very low doses, can cause endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, cancer and developmental, reproductive and neurological problems such as learning impairment and attention deficit disorder.

There are federal regulations that put these chemicals in everything in our homes from our children's pajamas to our computer. Fire retardant were suppose to protect us from our things catching fire, but instead our health and that of our pets have been compromised. We don't even know the full extent of the problems.

Write letters to your state legislature to stop the practice of adding chemicals to our furniture and clothes. The state of California has an Assembly Bill 706 that will prohibit PBDE in furniture, etc. The chemical companies are spending millions opposing reforms that would protect our health and environment. They are even calling for federal regulations that would lead to higher levels of fire retardants in all furniture, bed clothing and pillows.