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How does house dust lead to obesity in children?
Especially at the beginning of spring, many people carry out a so-called spring cleaning at home to keep their living space clean and free of dust and dirt. Can cleaning the house in this way prevent children from building up additional weight? Researchers have now found that removing dust from our homes leads to a reduced likelihood of being overweight in children.
A recent study by Duke University found that dust in our living rooms seems to increase the risk of being overweight in children. The results of the study were presented at this year's Endocrine Society conference in New Orleans.
House dust contains many different substances and chemicals
For the study, more than 190 dust samples were taken from homes in North Carolina in the United States. The researchers were able to determine that the dust in our households can contain up to 70 chemicals, which can influence gender and trigger the development and multiplication of fat cells. This is one of the first pieces of research to investigate the relationships between indoor chemical exposure and the metabolic health of children living in these homes, the researchers explain. Chemicals from this dust were then extracted in the laboratory and tested for their ability to promote the development of fat cells. The results indicate that very little house dust can trigger the development and proliferation of fat cells, the authors of the study explain in a press release from the Endocrine Society.
Dust appears to promote the development of fat cells
The researchers explain that two thirds of the dust extracts examined seem to promote the development of fat cells. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, children ingest between 60 and 100 milligrams of dust every day. A milligram consists of 1,000 micrograms. Half of these dust extracts promote the proliferation of the precursors of fat cells with an intake of already 100 micrograms. This corresponds to an amount that is about 1,000 times less than the amount that children take in every day.
More research is needed
In a second part of the experiment, the researchers examined more than 100 different chemicals in the dust and their influence on fat cell development. They found that around 70 chemicals had a significant positive impact on the development of dust-induced fat cells. Around 40 of these chemicals were directly related to the development of these so-called precursor cells. Further research is underway to determine which of the chemicals in house dust are related to obesity. (as)