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Published: Apr 29, 2011

A recent study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology may cause alarm among some pet owners and veterinarians. The research found that chemical flame retardants, which are often found on furniture manufactured prior to 2004, have been found in the blood streams of household dogs.

While it's unknown whether or not the chemicals are hazardous for pet health, the substances have been concretely linked to medical issues in humans. Additionally, it seems that the amounts found in the blood of dogs are five to 10 times higher than those that were found in people.

"Even though they've been around for quite awhile, we don't know much about these compounds' toxicological effects on humans or animals," co-author Marta Venier said. "The bottom line is that we still need to keep measuring them, particularly in homes."

The chemical flame retardants were taken off the market in Europe and the U.S. in 2004. However, they continue to appear in household environments, typically on old furniture.

Families who are concerned that their pets may have been exposed to this chemical may want to take their animal companion to a veterinarian who can diagnose any possible medical conditions.