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Experts are studying the effects of chemicals in house dust
Some people have problems with their weight. Sufferers often look for ways and means to reduce their excess weight. Of course, a healthy diet and adequate exercise play an important role in reducing body weight. However, researchers have now found that lack of dusting could also be a factor in weight gain. Pollutants contained in house dust seem to promote the growth of fat cells.
The researchers at Duke University in North Carolina found that the lack of removal of house dust could lead to weight gain. This is due to the pollutants contained in house dust. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Environmental Science and Technology".
Endocrine disrupting chemicals in house dust affect human weight
Dust in our living spaces could be a health hazard and negatively affect our weight. So-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) from synthetic or naturally occurring compounds impair the hormones of the human body, the authors of the study explain. Animal studies indicate that exposure to these chemicals at an early age can lead to weight gain later in life. This is due to an impaired metabolism of the human body. The experts estimate that children consume up to 50 milligrams of house dust per day.
Chemicals in house dust promote the accumulation of triglycerides and fat cells
Duke University scientists were concerned about the potentially harmful effects of EDCs on human health. As a result, doctors began to investigate whether special compounds in house dust could have an effect on fat cells. For their investigation, the scientists collected samples of house dust from eleven different houses. These samples were then analyzed in the laboratory. Seven samples contained chemicals that lead to the production of fat cells and the accumulation of triglycerides. Excerpts from nine samples spurred the cells to divide, creating a larger number of fat cell precursors, the doctors explain. Only a dust sample had no effect at all. The results indicate that the mixture of these chemicals in house dust promotes the accumulation of triglycerides and fat cells, explains author Professor Heather Stapleton.
Which products contain the chemicals?
The researchers say that dust amounts of up to three micrograms, which are far below the dust mass to which children are exposed every day, cause measurable effects. Many cleaning products contain chemicals such as phenols. Mobile phones, pizza boxes and many water or dirt-repellent products also contain chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS, the authors explain. So-called EDCs can also be found in flame retardants, lubricants, hydraulic fluids and plastics. Some manufacturers are trying to reduce usage, but the harmful chemicals are still common in most goods, experts say. The chemicals then collect in the house dust. This is then inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
More research is needed
There is evidence that exposure to these chemicals could lead to the development of obesity, asthma and autism. There has been a sharp increase in these three diseases in the past 30 years, the doctors say. The question that now arises is how strongly the chemicals have an impact on the diseases. For this reason, further research is necessary. Many of the chemicals in consumer goods eventually end up in the dust and we humans are in constant contact with this dust, the experts warn.