The U.S. EPA reported (Reuters, 8.15.07) a study that showed common chemicals found in all our homes are contributing to a rash of thyroid problems in pets. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE's). This is a class of chemicals that are used as a fire retardant. These items are found in a variety of household items including computers, televisions, carpeting, furniture and mattresses. PBDE's are made from bromine. Bromine, as I wrote in Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, is from the family of halides. This chemical family contains iodine, fluoride and chlorine as well. The reason we are seeing such a high prevalence of iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders is due, in large part, to the excess exposure of bromine from our modern conveniences. However, this excess bromine exposure is causing our bodies to kick out iodine. If we don't supplement with extra iodine, bromine will continually replace iodine all over our bodies, including in the thyroid gland. What is the consequence of this? Increased rates of cancer of the breast, thyroid, ovary, uterus and prostate. Also, we are seeing dramatically increased rates of autoimmune illnesses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. My experience has clearly shown markedly elevated bromine levels in those with serious illnesses compared to those that do not have a serious illness.
In the above study of pets, household cats were found to have high bromine levels. The consequence to the poor cats is that they are now suffering from an epidemic of hyperthyroidism. It used to be a rare condition with cats 35 years ago. In this study, the occurrence of hyperthyroidism was nearly 50%. The researchers found PBDE's in 100% of the cats studied (23 cats). In the cats with hyperthyroidism, their PBDE levels were much higher as compared to cats without hyperthyroidism. .
So, what can you do? Supplement with enough iodine to allow your body to detox from bromine. Furthermore, eat food that does not contain bromine such as organic fruits and vegetables. Also, supplement with items that help your detoxification system function optimally. This can include Vitamins C, E and selenium. Also, ingest enough unrefined salt to help detoxify bromine from the body.