Pet's Toxic Environment
Research on pets has shown higher levels of toxic chemicals in dogs and cats than humans. 43 different chemicals, as a matter of fact. The three worst chemicals are: fire retardant chemicals, stain and grease resistant chemicals (teflon), and plastic chemicals (phthalates).
Dogs have shown higher rates than humans in skin and bone cancer, breast tumors and leukemia while hyperthyroidism is the leading cause in older cats.
Although genetics are an accepted cause, some scientists blame exposure to toxic chemicals instead. Another argument in their favor is the fact that animals do not evolve quickly enough to account for the added rise in recent illnesses.
An organization previously tested over 400 pet products to find alarming toxic chemical levels in pet products such as collars, leashes, tennis balls, and even stuffed toys. With no government regulations for hazardous chemicals in pet products, it is up to us to change our way of life. Special concern is not just for the pets, but also the children that play with these pets, as they are more susceptible to touching with their hands and mouth causing greater concern.
Materials used in pet products include chemicals for specific properties such as rigidity, durability, flexibility or flame resistance. As many of these products are put in their mouths and touched, these substances (which may not be bound to the product) bring direct exposure to the child or pet. This exposure could even come through the air in house dust.
Pets, like small children, spend a lot of time on the floor and cats then clean their fur, therefore, swallowing even more chemicals.
Some of the chemicals of concern are: lead, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine, and mercury. These chemical compounds have been identified by regulatory agencies as problematic chemicals and linked in animal and human studies to long-term health impacts such as birth defects, liver toxicity, cancer, and more.
There are finally some regulations for children's products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act adopted ASTM F973-07 levels for antimony, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, and chromium as a mandatory standard.
The following website provides a chemicals of concern list with description of chemical as well as health effects.
We must become more diligent in our efforts for survival not only for ourselves but also our pets. There are many toxic free products out there. We have to learn to look for them and make a change. The time is now!
For more information, check out these websites as well: