Obesity study on oil spill raises ‘red flag’ about commonly-used compound 

CHARLSTON, SC, USA: A group of Hermes users who studies obesity in the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) recently published a paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which is published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The study, titled “Effects of Crude Oil/Dispersant Mixture and Dispersant Components on PPARγ Activity in Vitro and in Vivo: Identification of Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate (DOSS; CAS #577-11-7) as a Probable Obesogen” (link), found a commonly-used chemical known as DOSS (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate), an ingredient in the dispersant used to clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is likely an obesogen. An obesogen is a compound that potentially contributes to obesity in peopleand wildlife. The second major finding of this study is how commonly used this compound is, including in laxatives, some flavored soft and fruit drinks, homogenized milk and many personal care products. Because cellular processes are microscopic and complex, researchers engineered the cells to literally light up if a chemical caused a specific change.

Microscopic images taken by Hermes imaging system during the study showed DOSS increased fat differentiation in these cells.This group recently published another study citing Hermes imaging system, titled “The commonly used nonionic surfactant Span 80 has RXRα transactivation activity, which likely increases the obesogenic potential of oil dispersants and food emulsifiers” (link).

For more info, visit the press release


Effects of crude oil/dispersant mixture and dispersant components on PPARγ activity in vitro and in vivo: identification of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS; CAS #577-11-7) as a probable obesogen.

Temkin AM et al.; Environ Health Perspect, 2016, 124:112–119