MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Heather M. Stapleton PhD
Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management
EEH Program Chair
Nicholas School of the Environment
Durham, North Carolina 27708
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Building materials and products common to most homes (e.g. furniture, TVs, carpets, etc) are often treated with synthetic chemicals, which migrate out of the products over time and accumulate in house dust, where residents can be exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis.
This study assessed approximately forty chemicals commonly detected and measured in house dust samples for their ability to stimulate the development of fat cells, using a mouse precursor fat cell model. Approximately two thirds of these chemicals were able to promote lipid accumulation by these cells and/or stimulate the proliferation of the precursor fat cells. We then assessed eleven extracts of indoor house dust samples (containing mixtures of these chemicals) and exposed our cells to these extracts, finding that even low levels of these extracts were sufficient to promote the accumulation of lipids and/or the proliferation of the fat precursor cells.