Researchers have shown in a study that normal house dust can be responsible for obesity. The results are quite serious, but there is no real proof yet.
In our house, all kinds of environmental pollutants are formed, which could favor overweight. Researchers at Duke University have discovered a link between exposure to certain chemicals in dust particles and increased accumulation of grease. So yes, the dust in your house can really make you fat.
Substances in the powder increase the production of fat cells
For this study, the scientists collected dust from eleven homes in North Carolina and tested its effect on the cells of mice. A single sample of house dust had no effect, however nine samples led to the development of fat precursor cells, and seven of the eleven actual fat cells developed due to the chemicals they contained.
This is due to so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are found in synthetic and natural compounds and affect human hormones.
Even the smallest amounts of powder, that is, only three micrograms, are sufficient to give such an effect. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, children receive 50 milligrams of house dust each day through the respiratory tract, mouth, or skin.
Chemicals in many products of everyday life
The dust samples were studied for 44 substances. The researchers found that the pesticide pyractrostrobin, flame retardant, and phthalate dibutylphthalate (DBP) contribute more to fat cell production.
Behind these nonsensical terms are the chemicals we constantly deal with: substances found in cleaning products, delivery service boxes, in lubricants, cosmetics, and all kinds of plastics, all from our daily use.
More research is still needed
The results of the study are serious indications of a link between house dust and being overweight, but the evidence is not yet available, because the investigations were carried out with animal cells in a test tube and have not yet been tested in humans.
Environmental physician Hans-Peter Hutter from the Vienna Medical University confirms the assumptions of the Austrian news magazine orf.at: “We already have well-founded evidence from epidemiological studies that the mentioned environmental toxins can influence metabolism and the body weight of humans”.
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