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Chapter 6

Environmental Impact: The Difference between a Muddy Dog and a Dirty Dog

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raise the risk of canine malignant lymphoma by as much as 70 percent: See Biki B Takashima-Uebelhoer, et al., “Household Chemical Exposures and the Risk of Canine Malignant Lymphoma, a Model for Human Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” Environ Res 112 (January 2012): 171–76. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2011.12.003. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

a strong link between chemically treated lawns and increased risk for canine cancers: See Lawrence T. Glickman, et al., “Herbicide Exposure and the Risk of Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder in Scottish Terriers,” J Am Vet Med Assoc 224, no. 8 (April 2004): 1290–97. doi: 10.2460/javma.2004.224.1290.

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They make up what’s called the “body burden”: For everything you want to know about the body burden, go to the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments at Also check out entries and studies about the body burden at, and the CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program at

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unlikely sources of BPA and phthalate exposure in dogs: See Kimberly J. Wooten and Philip N. Smith, “Canine Toys and Training Devices as Sources of Exposure to Phthalates and Bisphenol A: Quantitation of Chemicals in Leachate and In Vitro Screening for Endocrine Activity,” Chemosphere 93, no. 10 (November 2013): 2245–53. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.07.075. Epub 2013 Sep 3.

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household air can be a toxic cocktail—often filled with dust that contains chemicals toxic to the immune, respiratory, and reproductive systems: See Lidia Morawskai, et al., “Real-time Sensors for Indoor Air Monitoring and Challenges Ahead in Deploying Them to Urban Buildings,” Science of the Total Environment (April 2016). doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.04.032

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biochemists at the New York Department of Health set out to measure exposures to twenty-one phthalate metabolites in pet cats and dogs in 2019: See Rajendiran Karthikraj, Sunmi Lee, and Kurunthachalam Kannan, “Urinary Concentrations and Distribution Profiles of 21 Phthalate Metabolites in Pet Cats and Dogs,” Sci Total Environ 690 (November 2019): 70–75. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.522. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

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BPA was shown to upset the canine endocrine system: See Zoe L. Koestel, et al., “Bisphenol A (BPA) in the Serum of Pet Dogs Following Short-term Consumption of Canned Dog Food and Potential Health Consequences of Exposure to BPA,” Sci Total Environ 579 (February 2017): 1804–14. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.162. Epub 2016 Dec 6.

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flame retardants as the likely culprit in the epidemic of hyperthyroidism among cats: See C. M. Poutasse, et al., “Silicone Pet Tags Associate Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-isopropyl) Phosphate Exposures with Feline Hyperthyroidism,” Environ Sci Technol 53, no. 15 (2019): 9203–13.

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a 2019 review of Bravecto and other flea and tick products containing isoxazoline revealed
: See Valerie Palmieri, et al., “Survey of Canine Use and Safety of Isoxazoline Parasiticides,” Vet Med Sci 6, no. 4 (November 2020): 933–45. doi: 10.1002/vms3.285. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

these substances are ubiquitous in the environment and have been detected at high levels in dog poop: See Jing Ma, Hongkai Zhu and Kurunthachalam Kannan, “Fecal Excretion of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Pets from New York State, United States,” Environmental Science & Technology Letters 7, no. 3 (2020): 135–42. doi: 10.1021/acs.estlett.9b00786.

More than 80 percent of North Americans use some kind of air fresheners: See Grand View Reports’ summary of “U.S. Air Fresheners Market Analysis by Product Type (Aerosol/Spray, Electric Air Fresheners, Gels, Candles, Others) by Application (Residential, Commercial, Cars, Others), Competitive Analysis And Segment Forecasts, 2018 – 2025” at In it, the report says that according to a survey conducted by the Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), “more than 80% of the U.S. population uses air freshener products, primarily for residential applications.”

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developing asthma and other lung diseases by as much as 71 percent: See B. C. Singer, H. Destaillats, A. T. Hodgson, and W. W. Nazaroff, “Cleaning Products and Air Fresheners: Emissions and Resulting Concentrations of Glycol Ethers and Terpenoids,” Indoor Air 16, no. 3 (June 2006): 179–91. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2005.00414.x.

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a paper highlighting the problem of “anthropogenic contaminants” in water: See Andressa Gonsioroski, Vasiliki E. Mourikes, and Jodi A. Flaws, “Endocrine Disruptors in Water and Their Effects on the Reproductive System,” Int J Mol Sci 21, no. 6 (March 2020): 1929. doi: 10.3390/ijms21061929.

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coined the term “obesogens” to describe chemicals that can make us fat: See Bruce Blumberg’s book The Obesogen Effect: Why We Eat Less and Exercise More but Still Struggle to Lose Weight (New York: Grand Central, 2018).

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One such study published in the BMJ found that people who lived in the noisiest areas: See Anna L Hansell, et al., “Aircraft Noise and Cardiovascular Disease Near Heathrow Airport in London: Small Area Study,” BMJ 347 (October 2013): f5432. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5432.

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revealed a link between noise and underlying pain: See Ana Luisa Lopes Fagundes, et al., “Noise Sensitivities in Dogs: An Exploration of Signs in Dogs with and without Musculoskeletal Pain Using Qualitative Content Analysis,” Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5 (2018): 17. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00017.

sound blasts increased heart rate and salivary cortisol levels and elicited postural signs of anxiety: See B. Beerda, et al., “Behavioral, Saliva Cortisol and Heart Rate Responses to Different Types of Stimuli in Dogs,” App Anim Behav Sci 58, no. 3-4 (July 1998): 365–81.

behavior changes when exposed to extremely low levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs): See the National Research Council (US) Committee on Assessment of the Possible Health Effects of Ground Wave Emergency Network (GWEN). Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1993. Chapter 4: Perception and Behavioral Effects of Electromagnetic Fields. Available from: