Pets ingest pollutants and pesticide residues and breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants just like children do — and since they develop and age seven or more times faster than children, pets develop health problems from exposures much faster. Credit: Hemera CollectionEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What are some tips for keeping my dogs and cats healthy? — Kim Newfield, via e-mailBelieve it or not, our pets may be exposed to more harsh chemicals through the course of their day than we are. Researchers at the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that pet dogs and cats were contaminated with 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those typically found in people.“Just as children ingest pollutants in tap water, play on lawns with pesticide residues or breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants, so do their pets,” reports EWG. Since they develop and age seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much faster, EWG adds.“Average levels of many chemicals were substantially higher in pets than is typical for people, with 2.4 times higher levels of stain- and grease-proof coatings (perfluorochemicals) in dogs, 23 times more fire retardants (PBDEs) in cats, and more than five times the amounts of mercury, compared to average levels in people,” reports the group. Their 2008 study looked at plastics and food packaging chemicals, heavy metals, fire retardants and stain-proofing chemicals in pooled samples of blood and urine from 20 dogs and 37 cats tested at a Virginia veterinary clinic.“For dogs, blood and urine samples were contaminated with 35 chemicals altogether, including 11 carcinogens, 31 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system, and 24 neurotoxins,” adds EWG. This is particularly alarming given that man’s best friend is known to have much higher cancer rates than humans. A 2008 Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Center study found that dogs have 35 times more skin cancer, four times more breast tumors, eight times more bone cancer, and two times more leukemia per capita as humans. And according to researchers from Purdue University, cancer is the second leading cause of death for dogs, with about one in four canines succumbing to some form of the disease. Meanwhile, hyperthyroidism—a condition which many think is on the rise in felines due to chemical exposures—is already a leading cause of illness for older cats.In its Pets for the Environment website, EWG lists dozens of ways for pet owners to ensure that dogs and cats are as safe as possible in this dangerous world we inhabit. Among other tips, EWG recommends choosing pet food without chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin, and looking for organic or free-range ingredients rather than by-products. As for drinking water, EWG suggests running tap water through a reverse osmosis filter—either faucet-mounted or pitcher-based—before it goes into a pet’s bowl to remove common contaminants. Also, replacing old bedding or furniture, especially if it has exposed foam, can prevent pets from ingesting fire retardants. From avoiding non-stick pans and garden pesticides to choosing greener kitty litter and decking material, the list of tips goes on.Taking steps to ensure a safer environment for pets—some 63 percent of U.S. homes have at least one—will mean a safer world for humans, too. EWG concludes that our pets “well may be serving as sentinels for our own health, as they breathe in, ingest or absorb the same chemicals that are in our environments.”CONTACT: EWG Pets for the Environment, www.ewg.org/PetsfortheEnvironmentEarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus13 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market13 hours agoA new survey reveals those who live in and own a home have higher levels of wellbeing. Image: iStock.More women said having a home loan impacted their wellbeing negatively than men in all age groups, while higher income earners were more stressed having a mortgage than low income earners.But while owning a home can contribute to overall wellbeing, renting can detract from it, with the survey revealing people who rent a house or apartment recording a below average wellbeing rating.NAB’s wellness index rose in the March quarter to 65.2 points, but while sense of life worth, life satisfaction and happiness all improved, anxiety also increased, with 1 in 3 people (36 per cent) surveyed experiencing “high” levels of overall anxiety. Homeowners are among the happiest people in Australia, a new survey shows. Picture: Inside Outside Design.QUEENSLAND homeowners are among the happiest people in Australia at a time when anxiety in the community is growing, a new survey reveals.National Australia Bank’s latest wellness index reveals those who live in and own a house or apartment have the highest level of wellbeing, after people who have pets. Among the states, having a mortgage had the least impact on people living in Queensland (-14 per cent) and the greatest impact on those surveyed in Tasmania (-28 per cent). RELATED: The suburbs you can now afford Owning a home is the second highest driver of wellbeing after having a pet, a new survey reveals. Image: AAP/Troy Snook. MORE: ‘Worst house I’ve ever seen’ Compiled by NAB’s economics unit, the survey quantifies how people feel across 17 factors ranging from the homes they live in, to personal safety, physical health, commute times and spare time.Nearly a third of those surveyed had a home loan — the second most common type of debt held after credit cards.
Full-back Felix Jones will captain Dan McFarland’s strong Ireland Wolfhounds team against England Saxons at Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday night.Sean O’Brien will make his return from a long term shoulder injury having last played in September’s Guinness Pro12 clash against Glasgow Warriors.He’ll be joined in the back-row alongside Jack Conan and Dominc Ryan. Iain Henderson continues his return from injury, locking down in the second row alongside Mike McCarthy, while the front row consists of Mike Ross, Richardt Strauss and Jack McGrath.Kieran Marmion will combine with Ian Madigan at half-back with Gordon D’Arcy and Keith Earls forming the centre partnership. Captain Felix Jones is joined in the back-three by Fergus McFadden and Luke Fitzgerald.Kick-off is at 7.45pm tomorrow night.