Some Personal Care Products May Raise Diabetes Risk

Repeated exposure to a chemical found in many moisturizers, nail polishes, soaps, hair sprays, perfumes, and other personal-care products may increase women’s risk of developing diabetes, a new study suggests.

Women who had the highest levels of exposure to mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate had twice the likelihood of developing diabetes as those with the lowest levels, researchers led by Tamarra James-Todd, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s University in Boston report. In addition, women with higher-than-average levels of other phthalates in their bodies had a 60- to 70-percent higher diabetes risk, the study shows.

The research does not prove cause-and-effect, only a link between phthalate levels and diabetes, the study authors caution. But they called the findings “an important first step” in exploring the relationship between the two.

Check out Big Green Purse and the Environmental Working Group for lists of phthalate-free cosmetics.

The study appears online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

(Photo © Lelê Breveglieri via Flickr)