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- Author or Editor: Lorraine C. Backer x
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Objective—To assess the risk of bladder cancer in dogs from exposure to drinking water disinfection by-products and determine whether dogs could serve as sentinels for human bladder cancer associated with such exposures.
Animals—100 dogs with cancer of the urinary bladder and 100 control dogs.
Procedures—Case and control dogs were frequency-matched by age (within 2 years) and sex. Owners of dogs enrolled provided verbal informed consent and were interviewed by telephone. The telephone questionnaire included a complete residence history for each dog. Each dog's total exposure history to trihalomethanes was reconstructed from its residence history and corresponding drinking water utility company data.
Results—No association was detected between increasing years of exposure to chlorinated drinking water and risk of bladder cancer. Dogs with bladder cancer were exposed to higher total trihalomethanes concentrations than control dogs; however, the difference was not significant.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although humans and their dogs live in the same household, the activity patterns of dogs may lead to lower exposures to household tap water. Thus, although exposure to disinfection by-products in tap water may be a risk factor for human bladder cancer, this may not be true for canine bladder cancer at the concentrations at which dogs are exposed.