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Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Feb 2;50(3):1510-8. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04252. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Temporal Changes of PBDE Levels in California House Cats and a Link to Cat Hyperthyroidism.

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California Department of Toxic Substances Control, California Environmental Protection Agency , 700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, California 94710, United States .
VCA Albany Animal Hospital , 1550 Solano Avenue, Albany, California 94707, United States.
Campus Veterinary Clinic , 1807 M.L.K. Jr Way, Berkeley, California 94709, United States.


In this study, we measured serum PBDE levels in California (CA) house cats during two time periods: 2008-2010 and 2012-2013 to assess the impacts of the decline in use of these materials after the bans. The median ∑19PBDE level in CA household cats (age ≥10 yr) was 3479 ng/g lipid in 2008-2010 (1st time period, n = 21) and 1518 ng/g lipid in 2012-2013 (2nd time period, n = 22), about 2 times lower than in the first time period (p = 0.006). In contrast, PCB and OCP levels showed no statistically significant changes. With better matched group size and age (HT = 11 vs non-HT = 11, age ≥10 yr) in the second time period, we found that ∑19PBDE level (mean ± SE ng/g lipid) was significantly higher in the HT group (3906 ± 1442) than those in the non-HT group (1125 ± 244) (p = 0.0030). Higher levels of PCBs and OCPs were also found in HT group. Despite the declines of PBDE levels, our findings indicate that the current levels of PBDEs, as well as PCBs and OCPs, may still pose health effects for house cats and, possibly, humans.

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