Dust may make you sneeze, but having it around your home could also make you gain weight.
Duke University researchers collected samples of dust from 11 homes in North Carolina. Then the samples were placed alongside a mouse cell model known as 3T3-LI, which is used to test the development of fat cells, or triglycerides. Seven of the dust samples triggered the cells to mature into fat cells. Extracts from nine dust samples spurred the cells to divide, creating a larger pool of precursor fat cells.
Ultimately, this happens because the dust contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) which can interfere with the body's hormones. Since dust can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin, researchers warn that even minimal exposure could cause measurable effects.