A research team at Indiana University has found that blood in pet dogs contain chemical flame repellants at 5 to 10 times higher concentrations than present in humans.
The research paper titled, ‘Flame Retardants in the Serum of Pet Dogs and in their Food’, has been published recently in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, and has been written by Marta Venier, an assistant research scientist in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Ronald Hites, a Distinguished Professor in SPEA.
The team wanted to find out if pets could act as ‘biosentinels’ to help monitor how humans react to compounds that exist in the homes they share, since it is believed their metabolism is more capable of disintegrating the chemicals.
The research concentrates on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) prevalent in dog blood and in dog food available in the market. PBDE is being deployed as flame repellants in home furniture and electronics products. The compounds are able to travel from the products and into the surrounding environment. The team analyzed flame repellants present in blood from 17 pet dogs living indoors. Dry dog food samples were tested in an endeavor to discover whether the food caused PBDE exposure.
PBDEs at levels in the dog food were found to be about 1ng/gram, higher than those found in meat and poultry products consumed by humans, revealing that the PBDE’s prevalent in dog food could be caused by the processing techniques used rather than the food itself. This revealed that dogs metabolize the PBDEs faster than other pets.