Dust in the Home Could Cause Obesity in Children

Chemicals that are usually found in dust have been found to trigger a receptor that is linked with obesity.  The substances that cause the dust to be fat inducing are found in various home and garages.

According to a study out of Duke University, the chemicals activate a receptor that regulates how the body metabolizes fat.  The substance is frequently found in flame retardants (used in some bedding, curtains, sofas, etc.), lubricants, hydraulic fluids and plastics.

The researchers believe that chemicals have a strong influence on weight gain.  The lead scientist in the study, Heather Stapleton, says if children are exposed to PPARgamme during their young years it could be a cause for obesity.  The team focused on indoor dust because babies and children are constantly exposed to these contaminants.  What makes this relevant is that children ingest about 50 milligrams of household dust daily.  They found significant PPARgamme activation in more than half of their samples and it was about the same as a child’s daily dose.

“We are continuing to build on this research to determine what type of health effects may be caused by this level of activation in children,” said Dr Stapleton.

This shows the importance of keeping he floors clean, especially when you have young children who are crawling and eating everything they can get their hands on.


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