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Can PBDEs Harm Your Pet?

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Eliminate Toxic PBDEs

An industrial chemical known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in home furnishings could be diminishing your pet's health.  This chemical is a flame retardant used by manufacturers to reduce the flammability of padded chairs, sofas, mattresses and other cushy seats in homes and offices.

You can reduce or eliminate the PBDE levels in your environment by choosing electronics made with alternatives to PBDEs available from Apple, Sony, Intel, Erickson, HP, Canon and Dell.  Select wild salmon rather than farmed fish.  Use lean meats, poultry, and low-fat dairy products rather than their higher fat counterparts.  Fatty tissue serves as an accumulation zone for PBDEs. 

The Environmental Protection Agency indicates that polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have a negative impact on your health and environment.  These chemicals in your home environment may be causing harm to your pet without your knowledge.

In the body, PBDEs are found in breast milk, blood and the blood of umbilical cords.  These chemical compounds persist in the environment and accumulate in wild animals.  They are thought to cause brain damage, birth defects, and contribute to disease of the liver and thyroid.

PBDE chemical compounds are used as flame retardants in industries that produce electronics, furniture and foam.  These products have a propensity of giving off airborne particles that build up in your home's dust.  Seventeen pet dogs who live primarily indoors participated in an analysis at Indiana University.  The analysis found their PBDE concentration levels to be five to 10 times higher than that of humans.

"In the U.S., we the have highest levels of flame retardants in our dust and in our bodies," indicates Arelene Blum, Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute.  Pollution in People asserts that these toxic PBDE industrial chemicals have been used for more than 30 years in the manufacturing of mattresses, furniture and consumer-used electronic plastics.

Household furniture is frequently produced with flame retardant chemicals and materials before it is shipped to consumers.  Furniture that is made with organic cotton stuffing or wool padding will be free of the hazards of PBDE.  This means when shopping for sofas, loveseats, easy chairs, mattresses and other furniture with seat, arm or back padding, it will be important to ask the contents.  Ask if flame retardants are used and if there are alternate choices.  Request that organic cotton or wool padding be provided as a condition of your purchase.  The use of flame retardant materials varies from state to state.  Its use will depend on governmental laws and regulations that are in effect.

It is estimated that approximately five percent of the weight of the petroleum-based fill known as polyurethane foam is flame retardant chemicals.  Polyurethane foam is used in nearly all sofas, easy chairs, loveseats and mattresses manufactured.

"PBDEs are an important, but generally unrecognized, persistent organic pollutant,'' advised Robert C. Hale in Nature.  Hale is a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.  Persistent organic pollutants can remain in our environment for many years without breaking down.  Body fat in animals and humans become the storage zones for these pollutants. 

''There is an enormous need to act quickly when there is a problem with a chemical that is not only toxic but is persistent and accumulates,'' says Gina Solomon, Natural Resources Defense Council senior scientist.

Talk with your veterinarian about the impact of these industrial chemicals on your pet's health and wellness.  Your veterinarian will guide you in reducing the negative impact on your pet's health.

Sources:

Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Science Policy Institute.

Hale, Robert. Nature.

Main, Emily. Flame retardant furniture: Unhealthy, and doesn't stop fires.

Natural Resources Defense Council.

Pollution in People.

Practically Green.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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