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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Evidence is mounting of the dangers of lawn chemical for dogs.

A new study, released yesterday and scheduled to be published in the July issue of Science of the Total Environment, indicates that exposure to herbicide treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs.

This study is just one of many published studies contributing mounting evidence of the dangers of lawn chemicals for dogs.

  • In January of last year a published study was released (Abstract of Environmental Health 112(1): 171-6 (Jan. 2012), that shows a link between chemical exposures (including lawn chemicals) and the risk of canine malignant lymphoma.
  • A respected report and DVD "The Truth About Cats, Dogs and Lawn Chemicals," funded by the Newman’s Own Foundation, contains a lot of information for you to learn about the dangers and effects of lawn chemicals on your pets, including the use of herbicides, insecticides and other chemicals, and the resulting effects of seizures, tremors, vomiting, respiratory failure and more for dogs.
  • studies have found that dogs "exposed to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens can double their chance of developing canine lymphoma. And these dangerous chemicals may also increase the risk of bladder cancer in certain breeds by four to seven times."
  • You can read more about the dangers of lawn chemicals in our 2012 post, 'Is Your Lawn Killing Your Dog.'

Yesterdays released report indicates, "this work was performed to further characterize lawn chemical exposures in dogs, and to determine environmental factors associated with chemical residence time on grass. In addition to concern for canine health, a strong justification for the work was that dogs may serve as sentinels for potentially harmful environmental exposures in humans.'

According to lead author Deborah Knapp of Purdue University's Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, "(dogs) “could directly ingest the chemicals from the plant, or they could lick their paws or fur and ingest chemicals that have been picked up on their feet, legs or body."

In the first experiment herbicides ([2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP), dicamba) were applied to grass plots under a variety of conditions including green, dry brown, wet and recently mowed grass. They found the herbicides remained on dry brown grass much longer than to green grass.

In addition, chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas.

In a separate study, herbicide levels were measure in the urine of dogs and in grass residues from households with chemically treated lawns and those with untreated lawns in the proceeding 0-48 hours.

The study indicates, "chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households," extrapolating that dogs could be exposed to chemicals through contact with their own lawn (treated or contaminated through drift) or through contact with other grassy areas they walk that may be treated, such as parks, golf courses, and neighboring lawn areas.

You can read more about the study thanks to For the full study visit PubMed.

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