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The Weird Way Your Dirty House Is Making You Fat

There's no need to wait for spring. News like this will give you all the motivation you need to clean like you've never cleaned before.

It's time to break out the cleaning supplies.

As if you needed another reason to hate the dust bunnies hiding under your couch, a new study shows that they may actually increase fat gain, thanks to some of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) they're made up of. So even if you've been religiously following these 40 Tips That Double Weight Loss, there can be other factors at play when it comes to acquiring fat cells—like how spick and span your house is.

It all comes down to those EDCs, which mimic estrogen when they enter the body and should be avoided whenever possible. According to a study in Toxicology, they can disrupt the reproductive systems of both genders and, to make matters worse, another study in Environmental Health Perspectives linked prenatal exposure to these types of chemicals to overweight children. But how can we stay away from something that has made its way into our house dust?

Turns out it's kind of unavoidable. When researchers from Duke University collected dust samples from 11 houses in North Carolina, they were able to identify almost 50 contaminants. And out of those, only 1 out of every 11 was inactive, having no effect on the mouse-derived fat cells it was exposed to. The rest of the contaminants helped increase the buildup of triglycerides, which are fat cells that the body holds onto for energy.

Without further study, we can't be sure exactly how much dust exposure could widen your waistline, but the research team is calling it "a potential novel threat" for now. "There is a critical need to more thoroughly assess realistic environmental mixtures that may be contributing to adverse human health trends," the researchers added, and we couldn't agree more. Especially since dust isn't the only danger — there are plenty of other reasons Why You Should Be Worried About The Chemicals In Your Home.