15 facts about ‘forever chemicals’ in dry pet food bags

Here are 15 facts about ‘forever chemicals’ in pet food bags. The analysis comes from America by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) (ewg.com).

Meow Mix bag contains PFAS

Meow Mix bag contains PFAS – ‘forever chemicals’ toxic to cat and humans. Image: MikeB

  1. ‘Forever chemicals are known as PFAS (pronounced ‘peefas’). PFAS stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances if that helps you! They are ‘synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that have multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain’. That definitely won’t help you but know this: these chemicals are called ‘forever’ because they are very durable when in dust form. They don’t break down which makes them particularly hazardous in the home to humans and animal alike. ‘Some forms of PFAS can take over 1000 years to degrade’ (pfasfree.org.uk)
  2. PFAS are everywhere according to EWG. Sydney Evans, a science analyist at EWG said: “It’s almost impossible to avoid PFAS, because as these tests confirm, they’re prevalent in all aspects of our daily lives. The PFAS coating on these products wears off and gets into dust that can be ingested by children and pets.”
  3. Companion cats and dogs are particularly at risk (as are toddlers) as they spend more time on the floor (dust settling?) and use their mouths more leading to dust ingestion.
  4. EWG tested 11 bags of pet food (this must be dry pet food containing pellets as it is ‘bags’). And they don’t say but the point being made is that the PFAS in the packaging on the inside breaks off and attaches to the pellets and flies around the home.
  5. The specific chemicals found in the bags were: PFBA, PFPeA, PFHxA, PFHpA, x62FTCA, x62diPAP and PFPrA. Don’t go to sleep please ?? because it is important that cat caregivers know about the unseen hazards around the home.
  6. I believe that a lot of the ‘idiopathic’ (unknown cause) illnesses that affect domestic cats originate in unseen and unknown chemicals in the home used to make the products such as carpets more durable.
  7. The highest levels of PFAS in dry pet food bags were found in Meow Mix Tender Centers Salmon & Chicken Flavors Dry Cat Food at 630 ppm (parts per million). “The sample of Purina Cat Chow Complete Chicken had total fluorine at 310 ppm. Additional tests revealed it was contaminated with six different PFAS at an alarming 245 ppb.” There are other products contaminated in this way e.g., “Kibbles n’ Bits Bacon and Steak flavor registered 590 ppm of total fluorine. Additional tests found two PFAS at 14.3 ppb.”
  8. EWG say that at these concentrations PFAS present a “significant source of PFAS in the home.”
  9. No manufacturer has said that they will stop using PFAS. Susan Thixton (truthaboutpetfood.com) says that to the best of her knowledge
    FDA has never test cat and dog food for PFAS.
  10. PFAS are everywhere (I repeat myself, but it needs to be emphasised). They appear to contaminate almost everything. They are ubiquitous in modern life. A price we and our cats pay for ‘advancements’.
  11. There has been a very large lawsuit. A claim for compensation in 2017 when DuPont and Chemours in the US agreed to pay $671 million to 3,550 claimants for personal injury caused by drinking water contaminated with PFAS.
  12. Wikipedia tell me that ‘certain PFAS are no longer manufactured in the United States’. However, these products are still imported. The FDA said that they will phase out some types of PFAS used in food packaging by 2024.
  13. In the meantime, they continue to contaminate. Harvard T.H. Chan have a page: ‘Health risks of widely used chemicals may be underestimated’. The article is about PFAS having a ‘host of health effects [in humans] including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.
  14. The health impact of PFAS on humans and pets is work in progress. We need to know more. We don’t fully understand the health impact on people never mind companion animals. But we do know that there are potentially serious health implications.
  15. In a sinister disregard for the safety of people and pets, the chemical industry develops new compounds to replace the old ones if they are deemed unsafe. It is a merry go round. They call it ‘chemical whack-a-mole’.

Here is a video by EWG on PFAS.

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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