House dust making children fat

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 30: Chemicals typically found in house dust could trigger a key receptor which is linked to obesity, scientists have discovered.
The substance, found in flame retardants, lubricants, hydraulic fluids and plastics, has been found to bind to the PPARgamma receptor, a protein.
And, under the right conditions, researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, found the chemicals can activate the receptor, which regulates fat metabolism, cell proliferation and cell death.
Though a preliminary study, it adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the theory that chemicals in household products are influencing people’s waistlines.
Chemicals typically found in house dust could be making young children fat, scientists have warned
The activation of the receptor, during a child’s early developmental stages, ‘may be a key factor in obesity’, said Heather Stapleton, who led the study.
PPARgamme – short for peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor gamma – regulates fat metabolism, cell proliferation and cell death.
Dr Stapleton and her team have previously shown many chemicals, including the widely used organophosphates and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PDBE) metabolites, can bind to PPARgamma.
Young children ingest around 50 milligrams of house dust each day, according to US Environmental Protection Agency estimates.
Co-author of the study, Dr Mingliang Fang, revealed that 28 of 30 semi-volatile compounds commonly found in indoor dust were ‘weak or moderate’ PPARgamma antagonists, meaning they could bind to and activate the receptor.
The substance, found in flame retardants, lubricants, hydraulic fluids and plastics, has been found to bind to the PPARgamma receptor. And, under the right conditions, researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, found the chemicals can activate the receptor, which regulates fat metabolism, cell proliferation and cell death
Dr Stapleton said: ‘But what was very interesting was the level of activation observed following exposure to an environmentally relevant mixture of these contaminants in house dust samples.’
The researchers found signs of significant PPARgamma activation in more than half of the 25 dust samples collected from homes, offices and gyms, at a level of exposure that would be similar to a child’s daily dose.
Further research is now underway to test the laboratory findings in conditions that simulate the type of chronic, low-level exposure to these chemicals that occurs in the real world.
‘We are continuing to build on this research to determine what type of health effects may be caused by this level of activation in children,’ said Dr Stapleton.

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