There are 80.000 synthetic industrial compounds which are not natural – including plastics, the flame retardants that cover our sofas, and pesticides. The structure of these components are not commonly seen in nature and present a risk to our health.
Now, the scientists are trying to detect what this substances are doing to our body. They want to create a rule book for making these chemicals safer.
It’s very complex for us to understand how these dangerous compounds get into our body. But, scientists try to learn if a synthetic compound dissolves in fat. If it does there is a high likelihood that it can easily enter our body’s cells where it can cause harm.
At the University of California, Institution of Oceanography, Amro Hamdoun is looking at the biological properties of how these compounds interact with cells. The focus is on how the cell decides which compounds to let in and which ones to eliminate.
He explains how you can imagine cells like night clubs. Every cell has to decide which substance to eliminate and which to let in.