Potential sources of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals among companion canines
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Effects of environmental chemicals on companion animals are considerably understudied as compared to humans, even though they often occupy similar environs and are exposed via similar routes. Companion canines display chewing and mouthing behaviors that likely contribute to chemical exposures. These behaviors are similar to those exhibited by children. Concern over chemical exposure among children has led to regulations for endocrine disrupting chemicals including phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), but similar regulations do not apply to pet products. The goal of this study was to examine the potential of pet toys and training devices (bumpers) to leach phthalates and BPA into canine saliva. Effects of aging and chewing were evaluated with bumpers to determine if usage conditions would affect chemical leaching. Concentrations of six phthalates and BPA were determined in leachates via LC-MS/MS. In vitro transcriptional activation assays were used to assess potential for pet toy and bumper leachates to induce anti-androgenic and estrogenic activity. Bumpers leached high concentrations di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate and BPA, and aging and chewing increased leaching of most congeners as compared to new bumpers. Bumper leachates induced anti-androgenic and estrogenic activity in vitro. Pet toys leached comparatively lower concentrations of phthalates and BPA, but did leach diethyl phthalate in higher concentrations than bumpers. Pet toy leachates induced estrogenic, but not anti-androgenic, activity in vitro. Overall, results confirm that pet toys and bumpers are sources of exposure to phthalates and BPA in companion canines.