Chemicals in commonly used health care and beauty products may increase a woman’s chance of developing diabetes, according to a new study published this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
The chemicals in question are known as phthalates, which are known to interrupt the endocrine system and have been linked in previous studies to diabetes as well as childhood obesity. Phthalates are present in soaps, nail polishes, hair sprays, perfumes and moisturizers, as well as products such as electronics, toys and adhesives.
Other “endocrine disturbing” compounds like phthalates include BPA and pesticides, which have been singled out by activists groups for potentially harming the environment and the health of future generations.
Researchers for the new study analyzed concentrations of phthalates in the urine of 2,350 women and found that women with the highest levels of mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate were almost two times more likely to develop diabetes compared with women who had the lowest levels of the chemicals in their urine.
Women with higher-than-average levels of mono-phthalate had nearly a 60 percent increased risk for diabetes, and women with the highest levels of the mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had a nearly 70 percent increased risk of developing the disease.
Researchers say that while the study does point to a possible link between phthalates and diabetes in women, the findings do not prove that the chemicals contribute to the disease.
Source: US News