Why house dust is making people fat and sick
(NaturalHealth365) Strange as it seems, being an indifferent housekeeper could be right up there on the list of risk factors that promote health problems and obesity. Recent studies suggest that endocrine-disrupting chemicals lurking in ordinary household dust may disturb metabolic health and trigger the accumulation of body fat, especially in children.
Read on to discover the truth about how chemical residues in household dust can contribute to weight gain and serious health problems.
House dust attracts, holds and redistributes contaminants
“House dust” is composed of a blend of shed skin cells, hair, bacteria and dust mites, along with a sprinkling of the body parts of dead insects. Particles of pollen and soil, fibers from clothing and microscopic specks of plastic and dye are also found in this environmental mix.
As unwholesome as this mixture is, the real danger of house dust may be its content of pollutants and carcinogenic compounds, all of which can function as endocrine disruptors.
No matter how zealously one housecleans, dust can become entrenched in carpets and accumulate in crevices, leading over the years to a harmful buildup – even in the tidiest of homes. Even more troubling, dust that has been in place for many years can hold residues of substances that have been banned, such as DDT and PCBs.
Warning: Household dust contains dangerous phthalates from flame retardants and plasticizers
According to an article in Chemical and Engineering News, phthalates are the most common harmful contaminants found in dust, with DEHP – a phthalate plasticizer found in plastic food containers, cosmetics and vinyl flooring – topping the list.
According to recent studies, DEHP can disrupt hormone function and reduce sperm motility in men.
Dust is also a major source of human exposure to PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ether. Found in flame retardants and fabric protectants, PBDEs are known endocrine disruptors. Although PBDEs have been banned, they still exist in the environment – and in household dust.
And now, for a shocking fact: According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit environmental agency, the concentrations in house dust of some phthalates and flame retardants actually exceed soil-screening health risk thresholds set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Toxic compounds in dust can be inhaled, absorbed through skin or ingested through the mouth – as can occur when eating with dusty hands.
Warning: Exposure to contaminants in dust can trigger weight gain
In a study conducted by researchers at Duke University and published in Environmental Science and Technology, precursor fat cells – or adipocytes – were exposed to household dust containing endocrine disrupting chemicals.
The result? The team found that extracts from seven of the eleven house dust samples caused precursor adipocytes to mature and accumulate more fat – while nine of the samples caused the cells to proliferate and increase in number.
The team found that the flame retardant TBPDP, the plasticizer DBP and the pesticide pyraclostrobin had the greatest effects on fat accumulation.
Lead author Dr. Heather Stapleton remarked that the findings raised concerns for human health, especially because the fat-producing tendency of the dust occurred at concentrations below EPA estimated child exposure levels. Disturbingly, as little as 3 micrograms of dust triggered fat-producing effects – well below the 50-milligrams of house dust that children could be consuming daily.
Researchers say: Pollutants in dust are linked to leukemia
Some compounds found in dust, including PBDEs, PCBS and PAHs – or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – are suspected leukemia risk factors. According to the Environmental Working Group, PBDEs, in particular, have been linked in animal studies to thyroid hormone disruption, learning and memory impairment, hearing deficits, decreased sperm count and even cancer.
Todd P. Whitehead, an environmental scientist at the University of California, studied dust in California homes as part of his work with the California Childhood Leukemia Study. The research showed that homes of children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, tended to have higher levels of PAHs, PBDEs and PCBs.
Whitehead called the findings the “strongest type of evidence” to suggest that these compounds are risk factors for childhood leukemia.
In addition, Professor Marsha Wills-Karp, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, reports there is accumulating evidence that exposure to contaminants in dust might lead to diseases such as obesity, asthma and autism.
How can I reduce my exposure to contaminated household dust?
To reduce exposure to – and ingestion of – dust, natural health experts recommend frequent hand washing, and the use of a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air filter.
Avoid using feather dusters, which only redistribute dust, and clean with a damp rag. And, whenever possible or practical, opt for wood or tile floors over carpet. Experts report that normal vacuuming only removes about 10 percent of entrapped dust from carpets.
Other actions you can take include changing bedding once a week, removing all clutter from floors, and storing contents of closets in garment bags or boxes.
Sources for this article include:
GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals
Natural Health 365
Natural Health 365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The articles on GMOs & other Dangerous Chemicals found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on steering clear of foods and other consumer products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms and/or Chemicals that are DANGEROUS to human health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you up to date on the latest information! Articles range in topic from vaccination overviews to linking specific, common vaccines to the development of autism. We also aim to educate the public on the dangers of vaccines and provide in depth analysis of political vaccination bills.
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Consumer Alert: GMO Apples & Potatoes are a Public Health Risk, Roundup Herbicide & GMOs Destroy Your Digestive System, US Senate Votes to Shut Down GMO Labeling Bill, Monsanto Lies Revealed.
GMO & Dangerous Chemicals are two of our major post categories on www.naturalhealth365.com and contain over 90 articles that cover a wide range of subjects; including but not limited to…
GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals
More Articles on GMOs & Toxic Chemicals
In addition to publishing articles concerning the most up-to-date information on GMO Foods, Research, & Toxic Chemicals that have dangerous and unintended consenquences, we also aim to connect healthy lifestyles, non-GMO diets and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to lifelong health and adding happy years to your life.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that Monsanto is one of the most profitable entities on the planet, while the farmers that make them so successful are barely able to feed their families? Or that mono-cropping erodes our top soil so that no vegetables, grains, or fruits will grow in the wake of a mono-cropped field? Perhaps you didn’t know that organized events to protest Monsanto and their signature chemical, Roundup? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
Join Our Email List
Each day, visitors sign up for our weekly informative news sent directly to their email or RSS feed agregator. We send out three weekly emails keeping you informed and involved on the latest Natural Health News, information about our FREE SHOWS and updates on your favorite topics including Food & Nutrition, Cancer & Heart Disease, Vaccines & Autism, & – of course – GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals!
You can also check out our VIP member area, The Inner Circle, where you get access to thousands of recorded interview (audio/video), pod casts, & literature by some of the worlds foremost experts on Natural Health and Treatments that could save you thousands! Learn how to REVERSE disease without the use of toxic and expensive medications.
Natural Health 365 also is a venue for webinars on various topics, has a flourishing e-commerce store where you can purchase vitamins, pro biotics, supplements and unique products such as Grazing Goat Whey Protein.
Grazing Goat Whey Protein™ is formulated exclusively for the health-conscious consumer looking for the finest whey protein nutritional supplement on the planet.* Best of all, this goat whey protein comes from goats that graze – 365 days per year – on pesticide and chemical free pastures. No hormones, antibiotics or pesticides are used – ever. This product is non-GMO and gluten free.