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Cleaning products could be making children fat, suggest scientists

Household cleaning products and disinfectants could be altering the bacteria in children’s guts and making them fatter.

Common household cleaning products could be making children overweight by altering their gut bacteria, scientists say.

A Canadian study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal analysed the gut flora of 757 infants from the general population for their exposure to household disinfectants, detergents and eco-friendly products.

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According to the study, the frequent use of products such as multi-surface cleaners had a strong association with altered bacteria.

This association was not there with detergents or eco-friendly cleaners, according to the scientists, who added that piglets have also exhibited similar changes in their guts when exposed to aerosol disinfectants.

“We found that infants living in households with disinfectants being used at least weekly were twice as likely to have higher levels of the gut microbes Lachnospiraceae at age 3-4 months,” said Professor Anita Kozyrskyj, senior author of the study.

This meant that “when [the children] were three years old, their body mass index was higher than children not exposed to heavy home use of disinfectants as an infant,” added Professor Kozyrskyj.        Continue Reading