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Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Mar 20;52(6):3727-3737. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05981. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Parabens and Their Metabolites in Pet Food and Urine from New York State, United States.

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Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health , Empire State Plaza , P.O. Box 509, Albany , New York 12201 , United States.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health , State University of New York at Albany , New York 12222 , United States.
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science and Experimental Biochemistry Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center , King Abdulaziz University , Jeddah 21589 , Saudi Arabia.


The exposure of pets, such as dogs and cats, to a wide range of chemicals present in the indoor environment and the concomitant increase in noninfectious diseases in these companion animals are a concern. Nevertheless, little is known about the sources and pathways of exposure to chemicals in pets. In this study, we determined the concentrations of parabens in commercially available cat and dog foods as well as in urine samples from these pets collected from the Albany area of the state of New York in the United States. Parabens, especially methyl paraben (MeP), and their metabolites were found in all pet food and urine samples. The mean concentrations of total parabens (i.e., sum of parabens and their metabolites) in dog ( n = 23) and cat ( n = 35) food were 1350 and 1550 ng/g fresh wt, respectively. Dry food contained higher concentrations of parabens and their metabolites than did wet food, and cat food contained higher concentrations of target chemicals than did dog food. The mean concentrations of total parabens found in dog ( n = 30) and cat ( n = 30) urine were 7230 and 1040 ng/mL, respectively. In both pet food and urine, MeP (among parabens) and 4-hydroxy benzoic acid (4-HB) (among metabolites) were the dominant compounds. The metabolites of parabens accounted for ∼99% (∼99.1% in food and ∼98.9% in urine) of the total concentrations in both food and urine. The profiles of parabens and their metabolites in the urine of dogs and cats varied. In addition to diet, other sources of paraben exposures were found for dogs, whereas, for cats, the majority of exposures was identified as related to diet.


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