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Common Household Chemicals May Alter Gut Microbiome of Children

Semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are found in detergents, personal care products, coatings for carpets and furniture, and cleaning products. SVOCs are present in the air and dust in homes and may pose health risks. A new study suggests that exposure to SVOCs may negatively impact the gut microbiomes of children.

Sixty-nine toddlers and preschoolers participated in the study. The researchers used blood and urine samples to measure the levels of SVOCs biomarkers in each participant. Fecal samples were used to evaluate the levels of bacteria and fungi in the gut.

The researchers found that participants with higher levels of SVOCs in their bloodstream had a reduction in the amount and diversity of bacteria in their gut microbiomes. They also had a reduction in fungi. In addition, biomarkers of chlorobenzenes were found in their gut. Chlorobenzenes are aromatic organic compounds that are used to produce herbicides, dyestuffs, and rubber.

The study was conducted by researchers from Duke University. It was published on November 2, 2020 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

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