Dozens of materials found in household dust could interfere with thyroid function, according to a newly released study by Swedish researchers.
Chemists from Umeå University, writing in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, used compounds already known to bind to human thyroid receptors to help predict which other materials could pose similar risks.
The study then ran 485 indoor dust components through the model and identified 31 compounds that were predicted to bind to the thyroid, according to Chemical & Engineering News.
Scientists tested five of the suspected binders — as well as one of the remaining compounds — and found that four of the five bonded weakly to thyroid receptors. 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid, an herbicide, bonded most strongly.
The research showed that common dust particulars could have an impact on the brain, cardiovascular system, metabolism and other systems regulated by thyroid hormones. A study released last summer found that certain dust chemicals could be a "key factor for obesity."
Umeå researchers suggested that the model could be used to determine which chemicals should be prioritized for more testing and greater regulatory scrutiny.