Chemicals in your dog or cat’s stool may threat your health

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Scientists from NYU Grossman School of Medicine found chemicals in pet feces may signal threats to human health.

The research is published in the journal Environment International and was conducted by Sridhar Chinthakindi et al.

Dogs and cats may be exposed in their homes to a potentially toxic group of chemicals.

Called aromatic amines, the chemicals—found in tobacco smoke and in dyes used in cosmetics, textiles, and plastics—are known to cause cancer.

In the study, the team identified eight types of aromatic amines in stool samples collected from dozens of dogs and cats.

The also found traces of the chemicals in more than 38% of urine samples taken from a separate group of pets.

These findings suggest that pets are coming into contact with aromatic amines that leach from products in their household environment.

As these substances have been tied to bladder, colorectal, and other forms of cancer, the results may help explain why so many dogs and cats develop such diseases.

The results suggest that, aside from such direct exposures, pets are likely indirectly exposed.

For example, past research has shown that a common flea control medication called amitraz can be broken down into an aromatic amine called 2,6-dimethylaniline by microbes living in animals’ digestive systems.

This was the most common aromatic amine detected in the new study, accounting for almost 70 percent of those found in dogs and nearly 80 percent of those found in cats.

The study authors’ previous research has measured other hormone-disrupting chemicals, including phthalates, melamine, and bisphenols in pet urine.

However, the new study is the first designed to explore pet exposure to aromatic amines in the household.

For the study, the research team collected urine samples from 42 dogs and 21 cats living in private households, veterinary hospitals, and animal shelters in Albany, NY.

They also collected fecal samples from another 77 pets living in the same region.

The team found that cats had at least triple the concentrations of aromatic amines in their urine as dogs. Notably, cats do not break down many compounds as efficiently as dogs.

They also showed little difference in aromatic amine exposure between animals that lived at home compared with those that lived in a shelter or those that were staying at a veterinary hospital.

The team says since pets are smaller and more sensitive to toxins, they serve as excellent ‘canaries in the coal mine’ for assessing chemical risks to human health.

If they are getting exposed to toxins in people’s homes, then they had better take a closer look at their own exposure.

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