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  • Cancer risks etc

    In another thread I mentioned this issue, here is what I posted to a dog mailing list earlier, it is of course aimed towards dogs but the asbestos section in very important for humans as well:

    Cancers in dogs, risks.

    Lawn chemicals etc:

    On the cancer issue I read about lawn chemicals, this is a subject I've spoken out against in past years and was always a concern with me. I never use any kind of lawn chemicals and my dogs never come in contact with them. This includes herbicides/weed kilkers/Roundup etc, pesticides, lawn care products, ant and roach killer, snail bait, rat/mouse bait and so forth.

    Flea products:

    My house flooring is mainly porcellain tile, some wood, and no carpeting, since I have not had any fleas in many, many years I never need to use flea products of any kind either. They are difficult to get established because the new born fleas need the adult fleas' droppings for food, carpeting is one of THE worst things to have and creates the perfect place for fleas.
    I do not trust these flea chemicals either, especially that Frontline- a new vet I tried a number of years ago applied some of that stuff to my puppy and right after that I had some wierd sinus thing going on, it definitely was affecting my sinus even though I could smell nothing.

    Asbestos:

    Another serious cancer causing agent is asbestos, most people have no idea how many consumer products were produced that had asbestos in them, everything from vinyl flooring and ironing board covers to kitchen oven mittens and attic insulation had this in it.

    Probably the worst offender is currently in millions of home and business attics in the form of small granules of puffed up looking stuff called vermiculite.

    Vermiculite was mined in Libby Montana by the W.R. Grace Company for decades, it was unfortunately contaminated with the worst form of asbestos there is and Grace Co mined and sold this material for attic insulation knowing full well it was contaminated with asbestos. Long story short, their insulation was installed by homeowners in millions of attics as a do-it-yourself product sold in hardware stores, the material contaminated the stores, peopel's cars, delivery trucks, railroad cars, every terminal the freight trains full of it passed, and the entire town of Libby was severely contaminated.
    Grace Co. decided to file for bankruptcy protection and then returned anew free of any further liability from lawsuits.
    What this means for all of us is that this insulation in the attic tends to settle down into the walls, releasing particles of asbestos through light switches, ceiling lamps, cracks, and if anyone goes in the attic it gets on their clothing, and workers installing wiring, A/C ducts etc contaminate the entire home as well from their work, their clothing is also contaminated and transferred to their vehicles and homes.
    Many housewives and kids in Libby Mt contracted lung diseases and cancers due to the husband/father bringing home asbestos covered work clothes which were then washed in the washing machine and dryer and contaminated the home.

    The asbestos eventually winds up on the floor- where the dogs live the majority of their lives, vacuuming puts it back in the air as the fibers go through ordinary vacuum bags and filters.
    While asbestos is usually associated with lung cancers, the fibers penetrate tissues in other ways, there is some evidence that it can cause or contribute to other kinds of cancers, NO exposure is considered safe and various studies on this use animals which develop the various diseases they test.

    People would be wise to at least check their attics and find out if there is any of this up there, there are pictures on the web of it, it's a granular soft, light almost cork-like material about the size of pencil erasers with some shiny silvery colored surfaces to it, you can't mistake this stuff for any other kind of attic insulation. It was sold under the brand name of "Zonolite" and there could be paper bags left behind in the attic with that name on them, I found an empty bag in my art gallery attic.

    http://www.isolationchaleurconfort.c...3_zonolite.jpg

    The thing is don't panic if you find some, there are only two courses of action you can take: removal can cost around $20,000, encapsulation and leaving it undisturbed is the only other option and the one usually recommended- leave it undisturbed but do not use the attic for storage of any kind, do not enter the attic again, seal/caulk all cracks, gaps, holes no matter how small between the attic and living space below.
    I won't make this longer with more details, there's plenty of resources on the web and a DVD about the Libby Mt issue, but I wanted to make people aware of this insulation since it is everywhere and a source of long-term exposure to a toxic material that simply can't be ignored and it's one that most people never knew about beyond the usual steam pipe coverings, older car brake shoes and floor tiles, but it's been put into hundreds of common products used in the home, even plaster, spackle and cement used on the walls, house paint, some clothing, older toasters and heaters, furnaces, roofing materials, ductwork, adhesives, artificial "snow" people sprinkled out on the floor under their Christmas trees and even potting soil used for house plants!
    The attic insulation however is probably the most likely and largest source you will find in today's homes.

  • #2
    Good post and it applies to kids as well. Lead in paint is another consideration. Any house paint older than 1978 may contain lead. If you remodel or otherwise sand it you need to take precautions. Anyone doing it for others needs a federal certification, meaning they are trained to take precautions with the dust and chips, control and removal.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JasperST View Post
      Good post and it applies to kids as well. Lead in paint is another consideration. Any house paint older than 1978 may contain lead. If you remodel or otherwise sand it you need to take precautions. Anyone doing it for others needs a federal certification, meaning they are trained to take precautions with the dust and chips, control and removal.
      Thanks Jasper,
      You know, I'm less concerned about lead, it's still nasty stuff but at least lead and lead poisoning can be dealt with, once asbestos is breathed in it's never coming back out.
      Where I work some of my co-workers work with lead and lead/tin alloys all day long 5 days a week, cutting sheets of the stuff from large rolls, soldering, sanding, filing, drilling, milling, casting, and polishing it, they go for regular blood tests but they never come back with any issues.
      They don't wear any special equipment but all make sure they wash their hands thoroughly before eating or going home. Lead poisoning itself is going to mainly come from ingesting it, it's not absorbed through the skin and normally because it's a heavy metal- cutting and filing it while it produces chips- they don't float around in the air at the slightest disturbance like asbestos will.
      So I see this aspect from personal observation over the last 16 years, certainly you don't want to be eating paint chips or take a belt sander and start sanding old paint off the walls, woodwork and doors! the fine dust and silica from just the paint itself is toxic and damages the lungs, the small lead contained in it is a secondary issue but not the sole one, the dust created just by sanding old paint off the walls and doors indoors is a big one!

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      • #4
        Be careful what you read on the internet and hear from breeders/clubs etc. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

        Maybe lawn chemicals can cause bladder cancer in dogs? There may be an association, but long term effects have yet to be studied. The more relevant concern is toxicity. I have seen a lot of dogs in the emergency clinics after they eat rat poison, insecticides, etc.

        Fleas. I have had so many owners claim that their pet does not have fleas when I find them crawling. There was one little dog in particular that I remember. He came in for a skin issue. I started shaving so I could see the extent of the skin issue. I ended up shaving the entire dog except for his mane, and I even found a flea in his mane. The dog was suffering from flea allergy dermatitis, but the owner insisted that none of her animals had fleas. Households can go for years without flea issues, but then maybe it's a bad year in that area and they are suddenly infested. Frontline is a GOOD product, as is advantage (for cats and dogs) / advantix (not for cats). They are very SAFE products. Neither you or your pet is going to get a sinus infection from it. That makes zero sense.

        Asbestos...really bad for people and pets.
        "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

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        • #5
          ^^^This^^^!
          Now go home and get your shine box!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
            Be careful what you read on the internet and hear from breeders/clubs etc. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

            Maybe lawn chemicals can cause bladder cancer in dogs? There may be an association, but long term effects have yet to be studied. The more relevant concern is toxicity. I have seen a lot of dogs in the emergency clinics after they eat rat poison, insecticides, etc.
            My line of thought has usually been that is something makes a dog or kid sick (such as say- the lawn chemicals) it's not going to be a good idea to continue exposing them to it, we just don't know what long term effects are on most things and that's the biggest problem.
            How do we test and know for sure when you can't use humans and even if you could humans live 80 or 90 years and a study would have to continue that long at least.

            I remember a time when breeders were using that nice very thin indoor/outdoor carpeting in whelping boxes because it seemed so perfect and could be hosed down, trouble was as some discovered- the urine reacted with something on/in the carpet and I rememebr reading about puppies with paws etc that had chemical burns and they found it was connected to this carpeting, who'd have thought!

            Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
            Fleas. I have had so many owners claim that their pet does not have fleas when I find them crawling. There was one little dog in particular that I remember. He came in for a skin issue. I started shaving so I could see the extent of the skin issue. I ended up shaving the entire dog except for his mane, and I even found a flea in his mane.
            Oh yeah for sure! most people either do one of two things or both too:

            1) They keep their dogs outside 24/7 or for extended periods where they get eaten alive and pestered by fleas, ticks, flies, gnats etc

            2) They have wall to wall carpeting.

            In my case my dogs have always been indoor dogs and I have a 16 x 25' concreted potty area for them, all the floors in my house are white porcellain tile except for the front parlor the dogs are not allowed in (parquet oak floor) and my modelling studio- also oak parquet.
            I don't have drapes, curtains or upholstered sofas and furniture, so my house is unique that way and very flea UNfriendly.
            Fleas love carpeting, drapes and upholstered furniture.

            Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
            Frontline is a GOOD product, as is advantage (for cats and dogs) / advantix (not for cats). They are very SAFE products. Neither you or your pet is going to get a sinus infection from it. That makes zero sense.
            I didn't get a sinus infection per sei from that, but it did something wierd on my sinus that wasn't there before and went away after I washed the dog of the stuff. I'm not allergic to anything I know of- house dust, pet dander, pollin, grass, ragweed etc none of these or any of the usual things people have allergies or reactions to ever affected me other than mosquito bites and bee stings, but that's a given!

            I don't remember now what the Frontline did exactly, but I seem to remember it made my nose start running and something else, burning or irritation I just don't remember but it started the same day the vet applied that stuff to my dog's neck and went away not long after I washed him down.

            Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
            Asbestos...really bad for people and pets.
            Yeah it is, worst stuff ever foisted on the American public by industry, it's invisible, insidious, and this stuff isn't going away either. It probably affects installers and people who worked with/around it as part of their jobs all day who breathed it in many hours a day long term, but no exposure is known to be safe and there's a lot of unknowns.

            I gather you have a background with animals, If so, I'm curious if you've ever heard of or seen a condition called: Fibrocartilagenous Embolism in the spine (canine)
            I lost a really nice 3-1/2 year old dog to that last December, first time I've ever heard of that and I've had multiple large breed dogs at a time for over 30 years, I used to show and was on various health committees, this was a new one on me!
            I've run into all kinds of other things in dogs, cancers, kidney/liver failure, gastric dilitation but never this. They say if you are in dogs long enough and have enough of them you'll see even the obscure maladies.
            Last edited by Sculptor; 08-14-2014, 12:08 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sculptor View Post
              My line of thought has usually been that is something makes a dog or kid sick (such as say- the lawn chemicals) it's not going to be a good idea to continue exposing them to it, we just don't know what long term effects are on most things and that's the biggest problem.
              How do we test and know for sure when you can't use humans and even if you could humans live 80 or 90 years and a study would have to continue that long at least.

              I remember a time when breeders were using that nice very thin indoor/outdoor carpeting in whelping boxes because it seemed so perfect and could be hosed down, trouble was as some discovered- the urine reacted with something on/in the carpet and I rememebr reading about puppies with paws etc that had chemical burns and they found it was connected to this carpeting, who'd have thought!
              I agree. Although long enough and high enough exposure to just about anything is not good. Generally speaking, cancer in dogs is mostly attributed to breed and genetic predispositions because of their lifespan. There are some exceptions, but those are rare.

              I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to regarding the whelping carpeting, but urine scald comes to mind. If any area is not being kept clean, urine scald is a problem.

              Originally posted by Sculptor View Post
              Oh yeah for sure! most people either do one of two things or both too:

              1) They keep their dogs outside 24/7 or for extended periods where they get eaten alive and pestered by fleas, ticks, flies, gnats etc

              2) They have wall to wall carpeting.

              In my case my dogs have always been indoor dogs and I have a 16 x 25' concreted potty area for them, all the floors in my house are white porcellain tile except for the front parlor the dogs are not allowed in (parquet oak floor) and my modelling studio- also oak parquet.
              I don't have drapes, curtains or upholstered sofas and furniture, so my house is unique that way and very flea UNfriendly.
              Fleas love carpeting, drapes and upholstered furniture.



              I didn't get a sinus infection per sei from that, but it did something wierd on my sinus that wasn't there before and went away after I washed the dog of the stuff. I'm not allergic to anything I know of- house dust, pet dander, pollin, grass, ragweed etc none of these or any of the usual things people have allergies or reactions to ever affected me other than mosquito bites and bee stings, but that's a given!

              I don't remember now what the Frontline did exactly, but I seem to remember it made my nose start running and something else, burning or irritation I just don't remember but it started the same day the vet applied that stuff to my dog's neck and went away not long after I washed him down.
              There's a lot of in between there. Most clients that I see don't keep their dogs outside 24/7 because those owners tend to not seek out veterinary services. Some don't have wall to wall carpeting either. As you say, fleas can live in furniture, curtains, rugs, clothing, blankets, etc. It sounds like you're at pretty low risk for fleas, but not impossible.

              You really can't get any sinus infection or complication from frontline, nor can you wash off the frontline. It is absorbed through the skin. Sounds like it was a coincidence.

              Originally posted by Sculptor View Post
              If so, I'm curious if you've ever heard of or seen a condition called: Fibrocartilagenous Embolism in the spine (canine)
              I lost a really nice 3-1/2 year old dog to that last December, first time I've ever heard of that and I've had multiple large breed dogs at a time for over 30 years, I used to show and was on various health committees, this was a new one on me!
              I've run into all kinds of other things in dogs, cancers, kidney/liver failure, gastric dilitation but never this. They say if you are in dogs long enough and have enough of them you'll see even the obscure maladies.
              I have seen dogs with FCE, mostly while I was on my clinical rotations. It is not uncommon and in many cases is a better diagnosis than some of the alternatives that can cause similar symptoms (spinal tumor, intervertebral disk disease, etc) since most do recover. I am sorry that your dog did not improve. It sounds like you care a lot about your pets.
              "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                Generally speaking, cancer in dogs is mostly attributed to breed and genetic predispositions because of their lifespan. There are some exceptions, but those are rare.

                I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to regarding the whelping carpeting, but urine scald comes to mind. If any area is not being kept clean, urine scald is a problem.
                Golden retrievers have a high rate of cancers I've read, there's a long term study being done on that breed in fact.

                The carpeting I mentioned was that real thin indoor/outdoor carpet you could buy off the roll years ago, I remember it coming in maybe 2 colors- light blue and brown, possibly green too, I used to see it a lot on outdoor porches, steps, patios and the like, it could be hosed off and all. Breeders liked it because it was good footing for puppies, did not pill up or bunch up, easy to hose off and so many used pieces in their whelping boxes under newspaper. Then reports started coming in to the various dog magazines and publications (this was before the internet) which generated articles and warnings about using this carpet this way.


                Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
                There's a lot of in between there. Most clients that I see don't keep their dogs outside 24/7 because those owners tend to not seek out veterinary services. Some don't have wall to wall carpeting either. As you say, fleas can live in furniture, curtains, rugs, clothing, blankets, etc. It sounds like you're at pretty low risk for fleas, but not impossible.

                Agreed there, to the 24/7 kept outdoors chained type owner veterinary care is an afterthought, cheaper for them to just get a new puppy for free from the classifieds than spend $100 for some treatment...
                The life cycle of fleas is interesting, the larvae need the adult's droppings for food, you get rid of the source and the perfect environment for that and any newly hatched larvae have nothing to eat.
                I'm extremely diligent any time I bring in a new puppy that they are flea-free before coming on my property and my dogs are rarely off my property too.
                It's difficult for fleas to get initially started but once they do they are very difficult to get rid of if there's carpeting, drapes, upholstered furniture etc.


                You really can't get any sinus infection or complication from frontline, nor can you wash off the frontline. It is absorbed through the skin. Sounds like it was a coincidence.
                I don't remember now, could be, what I do rememebr is the doctor applied the stuff to the dog's withers between the shoulder blades, of course there's an absorption into the skin, but there would be some residue on the fur from the initial application, maybe that was enough.

                I have seen dogs with FCE, mostly while I was on my clinical rotations. It is not uncommon and in many cases is a better diagnosis than some of the alternatives that can cause similar symptoms (spinal tumor, intervertebral disk disease, etc) since most do recover. I am sorry that your dog did not improve. It sounds like you care a lot about your pets.
                I did read that approximately 1 in 3 dogs with it do not recover, the others eventually in about 12 weeks time do recover most of their function, they will likely retain a limp or some other issue but at least they are able to walk and run again.
                In my dog's case his back half was completely paralized within a half hour of the initial symptoms and none of this had any improvement at all. I took him back to the university for a re-exam at 4 weeks and the neurologist was not optimistic at all, especially since the deep pain sensation ability had further deteriorated in that 4 weeks. He was unfortunately the 1 in 3 dogs who doesn't recover. Thanks, I really do care a lot, there was just hope or treatment for him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I bought my farm 14 years ago, we used an herbicide called "2-4 D". When my first dog, a black lab got lymphoma, my vet asked about 2-4D and said is was carcinogenic. When my German Shepard got bladder/Kidney cancer, I started researching. My Chocolate lab, Maddie, died last Saturday from a large inoperable mass on her hip/spine. Coincidence?

                  Be careful with the herbicides.
                  http://www.fightcaninecancer.com/lawnchemicals.html
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
                    When I bought my farm 14 years ago, we used an herbicide called "2-4 D". When my first dog, a black lab got lymphoma, my vet asked about 2-4D and said is was carcinogenic. When my German Shepard got bladder/Kidney cancer, I started researching. My Chocolate lab, Maddie, died last Saturday from a large inoperable mass on her hip/spine. Coincidence?
                    I'm sorry to read this and for your loss!

                    You didn't know it at the time of course the stuff is extremely bad.
                    As you probably know, dogs love to eat grass at times, and they also lick their paws and fur- both sources for any herbicide residue they may have gotten into.

                    Since I bought my rural house on 1/2 acre 16 years ago I've never used any lawn chemicals of any kind on it, as long as there's green stuff covering the dirt I don't care what's there I just keep it mowed short anyway. Otherwise I would probably have a rock garden instead.

                    That's a very good web site, I've bookmarked it.

                    One thing it says is:

                    In a 1991 study published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a link was found between 2, 4-D and malignant lymphoma in dogs and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in people. According to the study, "researchers report that dogs were two times more likely to develop lymphoma if their owners sprayed or sprinkled the 2,4-D herbicide on the lawn four or more times a year. [And] even with just one application a season, the cancer risk was one-third higher than among dogs whose owners did not use the chemical.

                    2,4-D is a very common ingredient in many broad-leaf weed killers and to give you a better picture of how toxic this chemical is so you can draw your own conclusions, it was also a primary component in Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War and known for its highly toxic effects on human health, including causing cancer, birth defects and other diseases.

                    For weeds where I don't want them- around the fence and around the fence where the dog's potty area is, and on the driveway- I have gravel but weeds do manage to grow, I take them out with a mix of 50/50 muriatic acid and water in a sprayer, and follow it up with a solution of very salty water with dish soap in it. The acid kills the weeds (and any ticks too there) within an hour they all turn brown, and the salt soaks in and does a number on them too since they don't like salt.
                    I was having a tick problem earlier this summer and it was because the weeds started to grow by the dog's fence and up it, once I took those out with the acid/water soap/salt I haven't had any more ticks on the dogs.

                    Again, I'm sorry to read about Maddie, and hope you will eventually find another dog to bring home.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks sculptor- I really appreciate the condolence.
                      Here is Maddie this past Spring.
                      Attached Files
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
                        Thanks sculptor- I really appreciate the condolence.
                        Here is Maddie this past Spring.
                        You are welcome, I know the feeling of the loss, bought the tee shirt too many times...

                        Maddie looks like an adorable, huggable, chocolate lab-bear!
                        I had a black lab years ago, I don't think the chocolate is as common.


                        Here's my Jenna (St Bernard) back in April when she was about 12 weeks old, she's a lot bigger now though! She is named after the character in the "Balto" animation.

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