Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

BPA in dog training aids: High estrogen-mimicking chemical concentrations found in dog training batons

Date:
December 10, 2012
Source:
Texas Tech University
Summary:
Sometimes orange, sometimes white, dog trainers often use plastic fetching batons called bumpers to teach dogs how to retrieve. But researchers have discovered that the dogs also may fetch a mouthful of potentially dangerous chemicals at the same time.

Sometimes orange, sometimes white, dog trainers often use plastic fetching batons called bumpers to teach dogs how to retrieve. But researchers at Texas Tech University have discovered that the dogs also may fetch a mouthful of potentially dangerous chemicals at the same time.

Researchers also found these chemicals, though at significantly lower concentrations, in a multitude of plastic chew toys purchased from a pet store.

The research was conducted by Kimberly Wooten, a master's student using the project as her thesis, and Phil Smith, an associate professor of terrestrial ecotoxicology at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech. Though unpublished, Wooten presented the results at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference held in California.

"I raise and train Labrador retrievers and hunt with them as well," Smith said, explaining what inspired him and Wooten to conduct the experiments. "In the process of training a lab, you do a lot of work with these plastic bumpers. I have a lot of bumpers in my garage, and they spend a lot of time in the mouths of my retrievers. Well, lots of attention has been given to chemicals in plastics lately regarding their effects on humans. Since we all care about our dogs, and we want them to be as healthy and smart and well-behaved as possible, we decided to look into this."

Wooten and Smith said they predicted the possibility that the bumpers could leach phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), which are used to give elasticity to plastic and vinyl and are known endocrine disruptors that mimic estrogen or act as anti-androgens and could lead to negative health effects. However, both said the findings have created more questions than answers because hardly any data exists on long-term effects of these chemicals on man's best friend.

"The whole end goal was to answer the questions, 'What does this mean for my pet? Is this a concern for our health?'" Wooten said. "We don't have a good answer yet because there's no good data to compare to our findings."

To test for the chemicals, Wooten and Smith created simulated dog saliva, then simulated chewing by squeezing the bumpers and dog toys with stainless steel salad tongs.

Some bumpers and toys were weathered outside as well to see if older toys gave off more chemicals, Smith said.

"We found that the aging or weathering the toys increased concentrations of BPA and phthalates," Smith said. "The toys had lower concentrations of phthalates than the bumpers, so that's good news. But they also had some other chemicals that mimicked estrogen. We need to find out what those are."

Wooten said BPA and phthalates can have effects on developing fetuses and can have a lifelong effect on offspring on lab animals. Some studies on humans conclude that BPA poses no health risks while others cite a number of adverse effects. Because of this, the U.S. government banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in 2012.

Wooten said questions still remain also as to how much of a dose a dog may get from playing with the bumpers, since it was difficult to say how much of these chemicals may actually leach out into a dog's mouth.

"The interaction of pet health and environmental chemicals is understudied," Wooten said. "What may be a safe dose for one species isn't always a good measure for another species. But the amount of BPA and phthalates we found from the bumpers would be considered on the high end of what you might find in children's toys."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas Tech University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas Tech University. "BPA in dog training aids: High estrogen-mimicking chemical concentrations found in dog training batons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210160733.htm>.
Texas Tech University. (2012, December 10). BPA in dog training aids: High estrogen-mimicking chemical concentrations found in dog training batons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210160733.htm
Texas Tech University. "BPA in dog training aids: High estrogen-mimicking chemical concentrations found in dog training batons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210160733.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins