The Dust In Your House Can Make You Fat
Chemicals found in household dust have the ability to make fat cells in your body grow larger. Experiments were carried out at Duke University in North Carolina and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
It is certainly true that what you eat and how much you move each day are large determinants of your body weight. However, your hormones also affect your body weight, and so too do environmental chemicals. This is particularly relevant for those people who do all the right things with their diet yet are unable to shift the weight. Chemicals trapped in house dust have hormone-disrupting effects in the body, which promotes weight gain.
Even tiny quantities of dust, which can be inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin are enough to have an effect. The quantities of dust used in this experiment were significantly lower than the amounts most children are typically exposed to. The dust particles were shown to contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which can interfere with or mimic the body’s hormones. These included flame retardants in carpets and sofas, as well as phthalates, which are added to plastics to increase their flexibility, and also found in a number of toiletries, makeup and personal care products that most women use each day.
Earlier studies have shown that endocrine disrupting chemicals can have a range of other serious health risks, including cognitive problems and learning disabilities in children, and hormone dependant tumours in adults such as breast and prostate cancer. This new research conducted by Duke University showed for the first time that endocrine disrupting chemicals found in house dust can cause fat cells to accumulate even more fat.
The take home message is to try and keep your house clean, without being neurotic about it. Housework can be good exercise, particularly for those people who sit all day at work. It is also important to try and minimize your exposure to chemicals as much as possible. The chemicals have to enter your house before they get trapped in the dust. These days there are all natural versions of many regularly used house and body care items that are inexpensive and readily available.