If the dust is piling up in your house, you may want to check out these seven smart strategies for getting rid of dust. You’ll find added motivation thanks to new research suggesting that indoor dust found in homes in contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals that prime our body’s cells to store fat. Of the 44 house dust contaminants tested, pyraclostrobin (a pesticide), the flame-retardant TBPDP, and DBP, a commonly used plasticizer, had the strongest fat-producing effects, the study found. “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, many of them considered obesogens, are detected in household dust and we now know very small amounts—we’re talking three micrograms—may have the power to tinker with a child’s metabolic health,” says Josh Axe, DNM, author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition.
What to do: “Make sure your vacuum has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, avoid sweeping up dry dust with a broom and consider a high-quality air filter, like one from IQAir,” Axe says. HEPA filters can remove as much as 99 percent of indoor air pollutants. Certain houseplants such as jade plants, spider plants, and Dracaena also remove pollution from your home, he says. (This is the real reason you gain weight as you age.)
Your food containers
First, make sure you’re not storing your food wrong. Then think about what you’re storing it in: If food wrapped in plastic or placed in a plastic container is microwaved, bisphenol A or BPA, for short, an estrogen-mimicking chemical that hardens plastic may leak into the food, explains Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, the director of the National Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington, DC. Several studies suggest that BPA may be linked to weight gain. One report in the International Journal of Obesity showed that women who had the highest levels of BPA in their urine gained more weight each year for 10 years than women with lower levels of BPA. While BPA is now banned in baby bottles and children’s sippy cups, it can still be found in other containers. An ongoing review from the US Food and Drug Administration supports the safety of BPA in food containers and packaging.
What to do: “Look for BPA-free products, avoid heating plastic containers as the heat allows BPA to leach into foods,” Dr. Kahan says. Other alternatives include glass, porcelain, or stainless steel containers. Uber trendy Swell water bottles are BPA free.