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MEASUREMENTS OF PBDES IN CAT SERUM AND CAT FOOD: IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP WITH FELINE HYPERTHYROIDISM?
VENIER, M., J. A. DYE, L. ZHU, C. R. WARD, L. S. BIRNBAUM, AND R. A. HITES. MEASUREMENTS OF PBDES IN CAT SERUM AND CAT FOOD: IS THERE A RELATIONSHIP WITH FELINE HYPERTHYROIDISM? Presented at 4th International Brominated Flame Retardants Workshop, Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS, April 24 - 27, 2007.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are an important group of flame retardants. They are used worldwide in a variety of consumer goods, including household products. Over the last 20 years, the con-centrations of PBDEs have rapidly increased in the environment (Hites, 2004; Zhu and Hites, 2004; Zhu and Hites, 2005) and in humans (Birnbaum et al., 2004; Mazdai et al., 2003). Experimental evidence in rodents suggests that PBDE exposure may perturb thyroid homeostasis (Birnbaum and Staskal, 2004). Over this same time period, the incidence of feline hyperthyroidism has substantially increased (Scarlett et al., 1988). Since many pet cats spend the majority of their lives indoors and grooming, and since household dust often contains relatively high levels of PBDEs (Stapleton et al., 2005), we hypothesized that development of feline hyperthyroidism could, in some manner, be related to increasing exposure to PBDEs. Furthermore, as carnivores, cats consume a variety of protein-based food products, again similar to their owners. Thus, cats may be useful sentinels for studying potential endocrine health outcomes re-lated to chronic low-level PBDE exposure.