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Earlier this month, we found out that simply smelling our food could be making us fatter, and now, it seems even our homes are conspiring against our diets. A new study from the American Chemical Society has found that dust – yes, ordinary household dust – could be making us gain weight.

Researchers found a number of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were present in household dust. What do these chemicals do, exactly? Well, they can wreak havoc on your hormones, potentially negatively impacting your reproductive, neurological and immune functions – and, as certain animal studies suggest, can cause weight gain later in life.

Some manufacturers have reduced the use of EDCs in their consumer products, but many continue to do so, meaning they can easily find their way into household dust, which is then inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average child consumes around 50 milligrams of house dust per day.

“Amounts of dust as low as 3 micrograms – well below the mass of dust that children are exposed to daily – caused measurable effects,” writes ScienceDaily.

So, if you needed a bit of motivation to get out the vacuum, let this be it! 

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