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Study: Household dust may promote growth of fat cells

Summer is just around the corner, so many people may be trying to get in shape for the warmer weather.

However, a recent study by Duke University suggests that you might also want to clean your house in addition to watching what you eat.

The study claims that hormone-disrupting chemicals found in household dust might promote the growth of fat cells, especially in children.

“This is some of the first research investigating links between exposure to chemical mixtures present in the indoor environment and metabolic health of children living in those homes,” lead researcher Christopher Kassotis, Ph.D., of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, N.C., told Science Daily.

Researchers found that common household dust contains chemicals from household products like laundry detergent, cleaners, paints and cosmetics. Those chemicals have been linked to accelerated growth of fat cells, which contributes to obesity.

“We found that two-thirds of dust extracts were able to promote fat cell development and half promote precursor fat cell proliferation at 100 micrograms, or approximately 1,000 times lower levels than what children consume on a daily basis,” Kassotis said.

Now, officials are working to determine whether reducing exposure to dust can help curb excessive weight gain.

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