Flame Retardant Chemicals May Cause Feline Hyperthyroidism

Posted on June 17, 2015 16:01

According to a new Swedish study, flame retardants may be linked to common health problems in pet cats, like hyperthyroidism. The researchers in this study found that cats suffering from hyperthyroidism had high levels of some flame retardants, indicating a potential link between the two.

Jessica Norrgran, of Stockholm University, noted that over 10 percent of older cats develop the condition, which is symptomized by weight loss, aggression, vomiting and hyperactivity. Several opponents have sought to ban certain flame retardants as they pose potentially harm to people, particularly young children and infants.

These flame retardant chemicals are used in furniture, plastics and other products and can accumulate in the dust in a cat’s fur. The cats then ingest these chemicals when licking themselves while grooming, according to the researchers.

For this study, blood samples from pet cats in Sweden were tested, including samples from 23 cats with normal thyroid function and 37 cats with hyperthyroidism. The sick cats had high levels of a type of flame retardant called polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE).

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