Epithelial Barrier Theory

Public Information

damaging agents

Epithelial barrier-damaging agents

Here is a list of epithelial barrier damaging substances with data developed from our labs.

  1. Air pollutants: Particulate matter, ozone, diesel exhaust, inhaled chlorine and household-cleaners and cigarette smoke can damage epithelial cells and disrupt barrier integrity.
  2. Household chemicals: Detergents, surfactants, and disinfectants used in laundry, dishwashers, and cleaning products can compromise epithelial barriers.
  3. Food additives: Emulsifiers and preservatives added to processed foods have been shown to impair epithelial barrier function.
  4. Microplastics: Tiny plastic particles can accumulate in tissues and disrupt epithelial barriers, leading to inflammation. Microplastics have been shown in amniotic fluid, pericardial fluid and coronary artery plaques.
  5. Nanoparticles: Some engineered nanomaterials can penetrate and damage epithelial cells and tight junctions.


Exposure to these epithelial barrier-disrupting agents trigger a cascade of events, including epithelial cell activation and barrier damage, microbial dysbiosis, inappropriate immune responses, and chronic inflammation, which contribute to the development of various chronic diseases.