Chemicals in house dust can promote obesity (adiposity). That’s the result of a study undertaken by American researchers. The chemicals prefer to dock with a receptor that influences fat metabolism. Particularly active are the by-products of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), which is used as a softener for PVC and elastomers, and Tributyltin, which has been prohibited as a biocide, but which is still present in the environment.
Chemicals bond to house dust with particular ease. That’s why inhaling house dust is an important pathway for the ingestion of chemicals in the body, particularly for small children. According to researchers, small children inhale up to 50 mg of dust every day.
The structure of the molecules is a decisive criterion for a tight bond to the receptor. In their upcoming studies, the scientists want to determine which structures most strongly activate the receptors and if mixtures of chemicals strengthen their effects.