Household dust could be making you gain weight

Household dust could be making you gain weight

New research suggests that household dust could contribute to weight gain as US study found that the dust found in homes can carry chemicals that cause cells to accumulate fat.

The experiment found that even relatively tiny amounts of dust, when ingested through inhalation or the skin, were enough to start the reaction.

Particles found in dust were found to contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been found to mimic or interfere with the hormones in the body.

EDCs had already been found to be attached to a number of health risks such as learning disabilities and cognitive problems, but this is the first time that they have been linked to weight gain.

Dr Christopher Kassotis, who led the research, said: “We were most surprised by how low the concentrations were that we saw having an effect.”

In the research, dust samples were taken from 11 homes and introduced to cells taken from mice. Nine of these samples caused an increase in cell division, and seven of them caused the mouse cells to amass more fat.

The researchers believe that the risk is particularly high in young children, due to the effects of EDCs on development hormones.

Dr Heather Stapleton, another of the researchers, said: “This suggests that the mixture of these chemicals in house dust is promoting the accumulation of triglycerides and fat cells.”

“Amounts of dust as low as 3 micrograms – well below the mass of dust that children are exposed to daily – caused measurable effects.”

Recently, the European Chemicals Agency voted to recognise bisphenol A (BPA), a prominent EDC, as a threat to health.

The chemical is found in CDs, DVDs, kettles and water bottles and has been linked to cancer, learning difficulties and diabetes.

The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

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