Endocrine disrupting chemicals in dust may contribute to greater growth in children relative to their age, scientists said during the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.
During the meeting, held in the U.S. city of New Orleans, specialists stressed these substances encourage the development of fat cells in a cellular model.
According to the leader of the study, Christopher Kassotis, 'this is one of the first investigations that assesses the links between exposure to chemical mixtures present in the indoor environment and the metabolic health of children who live in those homes'.
Experts collected 194 household dust samples from different homes in central North Carolina, United States, extracted the chemicals from the dust in the laboratory and analyzed their ability to foster the development of fat cells in a cellular model.
We found that two-thirds of the dust extracts could stimulate the development of fat cells and half of them fostered the proliferation of fat precursor cells to 100 micrograms, or levels about a thousand times lower than what children consume daily,' Kassotis said.
Data from the Environmental Protection Agency estimate that children ingest between 60 and 100 milligrams of dust daily.
Measuring more than 100 different chemicals, the researches team found that about 70 of the chemicals had a significant positive relationship with the development of dust-induced fat cells, and about 40 were related to the development of precursor fat cells.
These results suggest that mixtures of chemicals produced in the indoor environment may be causing childhood overweight or obesity', Kassotis said.
Some of these chemicals are present in common household products, such as laundry detergents, household cleaners, paints and cosmetics; scientists are continuing studies to determine which may be related to obesity. (PL)