BOSTON (CBS) — Could the dust in your home be making your kids fat? A new study from Duke University found that that hormone-disrupting chemicals in household dust may promote the growth of fat cells in children.

Dust contains chemicals from common household products like laundry detergents, cleaners, paints, and cosmetics. Young kids are easily exposed to dust when they crawl around on the floor. In fact, they can consume 60 to 100 milligrams of dust each day.

In this recent study, researchers took almost 200 dust samples from households in North Carolina and found that even at very low concentrations, chemicals in dust could stimulate the growth and multiplication of fat cells in a lab. They also found that several of the chemicals were significantly elevated in the homes of children who were overweight or obese.

The next step is to determine specifically which chemicals may be linked to obesity and whether reducing exposure to these chemicals can help curb excessive weight gain in kids.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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