This is one of the most bonkers stories I’ve come across, but it is rather worrying. This is from the i paper:
A new study finds that people are putting on weight simply by inhaling house dust because much of it contains chemicals that interfere with the body’s hormones. The culprits are “obesogens” known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which are found in all manner of plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, fragrances and food. They’re also in kitchen cleaners, adhesives, paints, clothing, medical equipment and toys.
As these items gradually wear away and release minuscule fragments into the air, the EDCs they give off ingle with other particles such as skin and hair to form a fattening dust, says the study by Duke University in the US. When inhaled, this mixture can spur fat cells to accumulate more triglycerides, or fat, according to the research.
Fire retardants – which typically involve the EDCs known as phthalates and bisphenol a – are a big source of fattening dust because they are found in so many products. Even if you are able to avoid having too many potentially harmful materials in your house, dust could still make you put on weight because EDCs are also naturally present in the environment. EDCs are known for possible effects on the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. Now scientists have found that EDCs – from pesticides, flame retardants and chemicals that increase a material’s flexibility, known as plasticisers – prompt weight gain, particularly among children.
“House dust is a likely source of chemicals that may be able to disrupt metabolic health,” said Heather Stapleton, of Duke University. Inhaling 3 millionths of a gram of EDC-dense dust – far below the 50 thousandths of a gram of dust breathed in by the average child each day – had a measurable effect.
Some manufacturers have reduced the use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in their products but many examples of EDCs continue to be ubiquitous in consumer goods.
We are all doomed!