Flame retardants linked to thyroid disease in house cats

Thyroid disease in house cats may be linked to common flame retardants called PBDEs, according to U.S. EPA researchers. In a small study of 23 cats, all the felines had blood concentrations of the chemical 20 to 100 times higher than average U.S. adults — who, it oughta be noted, carry the highest human PBDE load in the world. PBDEs first began to be used about three decades ago; at that time, feline hyperthyroidism was rare, but has now become one of the most common diseases in older cats. The fireproofing chemical is used in TVs, carpet padding, furniture, and mattresses; kitties easily take the substance in by grooming themselves after lounging about. (Food for thought: pound for pound, a 2-year-old child ingests about as much dust as a feline.) While the link between PBDEs and kitty sickness is still a hypothesis, researchers urged further analysis. PBDEs already have a bad rep when it comes to health, and two of the three main types of the chemical have already been banned in the U.S.