By northwestpr41454886, Jul 8 2020 09:18PM
Being in the odor and mold remediation business, I have the
opportunity to investigate a number of different odors in
homes and apartments. Sometimes it’s a left over smoke
odor from a cigarette or cigar smoker. Sometimes cooking odors can
embed into the structure of a home or apartment. Musty odors from
previous water intrusions can be unhealthy. In order to help the new
tenant or homeowner be comfortable, it is necessary to bring in the
heavy artillery of Biosweep with our PCO technology. But one of the
strongest odors that we deal with fairly regularly is pet odors.
We know that smoke odors can be harmful. 2nd and 3rd hand smoke
have been studied and reported in the media to the point that almost
everyone is aware of their dangers. But how many of us are aware of
the dangers of severe pet odors in our homes? Let’s look at what
makes up those uncomfortable odors from our canine and feline
Cat and dog urine isn’t just disgusting; it can harm your health. The
dangers of animal urine aren’t always obvious, though. No doubt you
realize that this urine, like all human and animal waste, carries
bacteria that could cause illness. So you dutifully wear gloves when
cleaning up waste and while washing the mops, sponges and other
items you used to clean it with.
It’s easy to assume that once the urine stain and germs are gone, that
lingering odor is nothing but a harmless nuisance. Remember, though,
that odors are composed of microscopic particles of the thing that
caused the odor. So by inhaling the animal urine smell, you’re actually
inhaling animal urine. Just the thought is enough to make you sick,
right? Wait, it gets worse...
Dog or cat urine smells sharply of ammonia, which is an irritant to
the lungs. In the case of large amounts of urine, your lungs could feel
like they are burning. Inhalation of large quantities of ammonia
causes immediate burning of the throat, respiratory tract and nose.
As a person is exposed to larger or constant quantities of ammonia,
he or she may start to feel lightheaded and faint. Excessive exposure
to ammonia causes eye and skin irritation. Pet urine becomes
embedded in furniture, baseboards, carpeting and other areas, and
causes health hazards. Individuals with weak immune systems,
allergies, asthma and other health conditions–such as migraines–are
especially susceptible to the risks associated with ammonia
inhalation. Low concentrations of ammonia (50ppm) also cause rapid
eye and skin irritation. Prolonged exposure to a higher concentration
of ammonia may cause permanent eye damage–or blindness–and skin
Children are most at risk for eye and skin problems resulting from
ammonia inhalation because their body-weight is lower than adults.
If bacteria and residue from pet urine is not completely removed from
a carpet or rugs, the area could become a hazardous feeding ground
Ammonia exposure can lead to the following:
Tracheal burns, nasopharyngeal cancer, alveolar edema, bronchiolar
edema and airway damage–leading to respiratory distress or
malfunction. This would include bronchitis, pneumonia and in
extremely rare situations, people can experience asphyxiation
(suffocation). Continual ammonia inhalation causes olfactory adaptation and
Cough phlegm and leads to shortness of breath.
Irritation of the airways of the lungs, making it difficult for an
individual to breathe easily. Coughs that bring up phlegm are an
indication of a respiratory infection.
Facts about cat urine
Normal cat urine is comprised of a number of substances, primarily
water. Healthy cat urine contains approximately 0.05% ammonia,
0.18% sulphate, 0.12% phosphate, 0.6% chloride, 0.1% sodium, 0.1%
creatinine, 0.003% uric acid, 2% urea and 95% water.
Cat urine is very concentrated, so a small amount can smell very
strong. Dried urine becomes crystallized, which causes strong odor.
Generally, healthy people are not at risk by smelling it, but long term
exposure may cause problems down the road. In fact, many people
who suffer from cat allergies believe that exposure to the fur is the
cause of their suffering. It may be that those with allergies have
oversensitive immune systems which cause them to be allergic to
many things. Often cat urine is the culprit.
Dog Urine – Leptospirosis Bacteria
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by several closely related
bacterial strains. Although most prevalent in warm, humid
environments, the ubiquitous bacteria are found all over the world.
Many wild animals contract the disease — especially rodents — as can
domestic dogs. Infected dogs may pass the disease to humans, in
whom it causes flulike symptoms. Serious cases can lead to kidney or
liver disease. The American Veterinary Medical Association cautions
pet owners to use a household disinfectant to clean up urine quickly
and to wear disposable gloves while doing so.
To conclude, just being aware of potential health risks of animal
ownership can help us all be more diligent about our indoor
environment. Remember, before being domesticated, dogs and cats
were meant to live outdoors. The outdoor environment will break
down their elimination products naturally. The same process does not
take place indoors. Let’s be safe in there!