FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 05, 2020
Fecal excretion of PFAS by pets
“Fecal Excretion of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Pets from New York State, United States”
Environmental Science & Technology Letters
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in a wide range of consumer products, from pizza boxes to carpets to non-stick cookware. Therefore, it’s not surprising that these water- and stain-repelling substances are ubiquitous in the environment. Now, researchers report in Environmental Science & Technology Letters that cats and dogs excrete some PFAS in their feces at levels that suggest exposures above the minimum risk level, which could also have implications for the pets’ owners.
Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues measured 15 different PFAS in 78 samples of cat and dog feces. Using high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, the researchers detected 13 different PFAS in the samples. The most abundant compounds in both cats and dogs were longer-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids. Based on these data, the researchers estimated PFAS exposure levels for the pets. They found that for three compounds (perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA; perfluorononanoic acid, PFNA; and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, PFOS) and for total PFAS, estimated exposure levels were above the minimal risk levels set by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Because pets share homes with people, they could be used to monitor human exposure to PFAS, the researchers say.
The authors do not acknowledge any funding sources for this study.
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.