Doberman – Melanoma, Lipoma, Histiocytoma, Fibroma, Myxoma, Primary brain tumor
Your pet’s chances of acquiring both bladder cancer and lymphoma dramatically increase if your pet is exposed to certain lawn and garden products. The lawn and garden care chemical most notorious for being toxic is called 2, 4-D, and is almost surely in your weed killer product among others. Aside from 2, 4-D, you’ll want to avoid products with Carbary, Pronamide, Chlorothalonil, or Maneb, common pesticide components which seem to correlate closely with increased cancer risk.
According to the report “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now” by the President’s Cancer Panel established in 1971): “The entire U.S. population is exposed on a daily basis to numerous agricultural chemicals, some of which are also used in residential and commercial landscaping. Many of these chemicals have known or suspected carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting properties. The EPA has required testing of less than 1 percent of the chemicals in commerce.”
Pesticides and Autism:
Mount Sinai is leading an effort to understand the role of these toxins in a condition that now affects between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the United States each year.
"A large number of the chemicals in widest use have not undergone even minimal assessment of potential toxicity and this is of great concern," says Dr. Landrigan. "Knowledge of environmental causes of neurodevelopmental disorders is critically important because they are potentially preventable."
CEHC developed the list of ten chemicals found in consumer products that are suspected to contribute to autism and learning disabilities to guide a research strategy to discover potentially preventable environmental causes. The top ten chemicals are:
4. Organophosphate pesticides
5. Organochlorine pesticides
6. Endocrine disruptors
7. Automotive exhaust
8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
9. Brominated flame retardants
10. Perfluorinated compounds
In addition to the editorial, the other four papers also call for increased research to identify the possible environmental causes of autism in America's children. The first paper, written by a team at the University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee, found preliminary evidence linking smoking during pregnancy to Asperger's disorder and other forms of high-functioning autism. Two papers, written by researchers at the University of California -- Davis, show that PCBs disrupt early brain development. The final paper, also by a team at UC -- Davis, suggests further exploring the link between pesticide exposure and autism.
A study presented in the January 2012 issue of the journal Environmental Research concluded that exposure to professionally applied lawn pesticides was associated with a significantly (70 percent) higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML).
It’s a broad conclusion and light on specifics. The case-control study, conducted between January 2000 and December 2006 at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, was structured around a 10-page questionnaire that was mailed to dog owners who were having their pets treated at the Foster Hospital; the resulting data came from the owners of 266 dogs with confirmed cases of CML and 478 dogs in two control groups (non-CML cases).
The questionnaire was not included in the article; a summary stated that it covered a wide variety of data considerations, including breed, weight, medical history, and the types of chemicals used in the home. The characteristics of the CML cases did not vary much from the controls, other than in the weight category (the CML dogs tended to weigh more than 50 pounds). Exposure to types of flea and tick products and frequency of administration was similar among the groups, as was overall exposure to lawn care products.
What did show cause for concern was that the CML cases were more likely to live in homes that reported professionally applied pesticides and herbicides, though the results were only marginally significant for the herbicides. Exposure to other types of professionally applied lawn care products was not associated with increased risk. There was an increased risk, however, for dogs who live in homes where owners applied lawn-care products containing insect growth regulators – substances that inhibit the development of insect eggs and larvae.
One disappointment: specific lawn care chemicals or insect-growth regulators were not identified. Instead, the umbrella categories of herbicide, pesticide, insect growth regulators, fungicide, rodenticide, and fertilizer were used. It could be that some of these chemicals are already designated as known carcinogenics. The article notes that studies evaluating frequency of exposure and exposure dose are needed; thus it appears that the researchers did not determine which chemicals the dogs were exposed to, in what quantities, or for how long.
Also disappointing was the fact that genetic factors were apparently not considered as part of the study. Three-fourths of the CML dogs were classified as purebred, as was the control group. The incidence rate of CML is not the same for all breeds; increased risk has been reported for several breeds including Basset Hounds, Boxers, Airedales, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernards, Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs, and Scottish Terriers. This predisposition could indicate an inherited characteristic.
Like the canary in the mineshaft, dogs can serve as sentinels for human disease because they are our close companions and are subjected to many of the same environmental influences. Canine cancers have the same biology and behavior as human cancers, and in some cases have identical histology and response rates to treatment. The goal of this study was to identify risk factors for CML from exposure to environmental chemicals in an effort to provide insight to risk factors for humans in developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Keep in mind that exposure to lawn care products is different for canines than it is for humans. People can know if a lawn has been recently treated with chemicals and thus avoid it and take precautions when handling such chemicals. Our pets have no such option; their uncovered and unprotected bodies come in direct contact with the environment. They see an enticing outdoor carpet, perfect for rolling around on, running across, playing fetch and wrestling with playmates on, and even ingesting. Dogs have their mouths on everything: themselves (grooming), their playmates, their toys and sticks lying in the grass, and yes, the grass itself. And those mouths can be the conduit from external to internal exposure.
Though more study is needed, the preliminary findings of this study suggest that you can reduce your dog’s risk through the following:
-Don’t use pesticides on your own lawns, or allow lawn-service providers to use them on your property.
-Don’t use lawn care products that contain insect growth regulators.
-Prevent your dog from walking on (or rolling on, eating, etc.) any lawns, unless you are able to determine that absolutely no pesticides are used to maintain them. (Most municipalities are required to make their chemical lawn-care regimens available to the public. It says something about these chemicals that their use is prohibited on most public school grounds.)
– Barbara Dobbins
Minnesota becomes the first state to ban the toxic antibacterial pesticide triclosan in consumer personal care and cleaning products statewide. Read the press release, and learn more about triclosan here.
Dog owners need to realize that many of the common chemical herbicides are responsible for a large number of pet poisonings. Herbicides can have both short- and long-term effects. They can cause an array of problems that range from mild vomiting to cancers and death.
The Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education (EAGLE) sites the “Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association” and the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” in their conclusion that dogs exposed to lawns treated with herbicides can double their chances of developing canine lymphoma. Herbicide use can increase the risk of canine bladder cancer in some breeds by as much as seven times.
When purchasing herbicides, always read the labels so that you understand the dangers associated with the product. The labels include information about the individual chemicals used in the herbicide and safety information that can help protect you and your pet. The labels also specify the amount of time that you need to keep your pet away from plants that have been sprayed. Pay close attention to this information. It is not there for decoration. It can save your dog’s life.
There are several dangerous chemicals found in herbicides. One is arsenic, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, pains in the abdominal area, coma and death.
Paraquat is another herbicide that has proven to lead to death.
Metaldehyde, which is generally found in snail and slug baits, has been associated with abdominal cramps, vomiting, tremors, seizures and death. One of the big problems associated with this herbicide is the fact that metaldehyde tastes good to dogs.
Disulfoton, which is still used to protect roses, is part of a class known as organophosphates. While many organophosphates have been pulled from the market, disulfoton, which is also used in fertilizers that contain bone meal and blood, attracts dogs. Unfortunately, it is still used despite the fact that it can make pets extremely ill and can lead to death.
Roundup, a commonly used herbicide, also presents dangers to your pets. Dogs exposed to the polyethoxylated tallowamine (one of the inert ingredients) in it can experience extreme vomiting and should be seen immediately by a veterinarian. Follow the directions and do not let your dog walk in areas where the herbicide has been sprayed for at least a day.
Most chemical herbicides are the most dangerous when they are wet. The threat becomes less when the herbicide application dries completely. However, dogs that ingest weeds sprayed with herbicides can still become very ill and death can occur.
Don’t assume that your yard will be safe even if you don’t apply herbicides. Your yard can become contaminated with the chemicals from spray that blows in from a neighboring property. If your municipality has an herbicide spray program, your yard can easily become contaminated from an herbicide application.
If you are on good terms with your neighbors, discuss the dangers of herbicide use with them. If they still insist on using the dangerous chemicals, hopefully they will notify you before they apply them so that you can take the proper precautions. If you know spraying is likely to occur, it is important to keep your dog indoors. Do not let toys or food dishes remain outdoors to become contaminated with the herbicide products.
If your neighbor or municipality embarks on a spraying program, ask that they give you 48 hour’s notice before applying herbicides. This will give you ample time to make arrangements to keep your dog from being exposed.
If you rent a property and the landlord cares for the yard, you need to discuss an herbicide application schedule with the person in charge. Again, ask for advance notice so you can be sure your dog is not outdoors when the spraying is done.
If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with freshly sprayed herbicides, call a veterinarian or pet poison control center immediately. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible so that the vets know how to treat the dog. Different poisons require different antidotes.
Try organic herbicides whenever possible. Vinegar is fast becoming one of the most popular organic herbicides. According to the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, which is part of the USDA, vinegar has an 80 to 100 percent kill rate in concentrations of 10 to 20 percent. The vinegar you purchase from the grocery store contains only five percent acetic acid and will not work well as an herbicide. Visit your local garden store or check the Internet for vinegar that has higher concentrations of acetic acid.
You might also try using corn gluten meal in place of chemicals. Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a natural substitute for synthetic pre-emergence herbicides. Pre-emergence herbicides attack seeds while they’re still in the ground, before the seedlings emerge from the soil. CGM is a by-product of commercial corn milling that contains the protein fraction of the corn. Its use poses no health risk to people or animals. In fact, because it is 60% protein, corn gluten meal is used as feed for cattle, poultry, fish, and dogs. In addition to the 60% protein, corn gluten meal is 10% nitrogen, by weight.
Corn gluten meal is a relatively new herbicide that was discovered during turf grass research at Iowa State University. The study showed that corn gluten meal prevented grass seeds from sprouting. The meal works to stop the germination of seeds. It does not kill or stunt existing plants.
Corn gluten meal is available in powder or pellet forms. The meal should be applied late in April or early in May and again in mid-August for best results. The corn gluten meal should be applied at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Water lightly after application to activate the corn gluten meal.
As more Americans move toward a greener lifestyle, more information is being published on organic herbicides. Fortunately, more commercial sprayers are offering organic treatments of weedy lawns. Don’t be afraid to ask for natural alternatives.