Phthalate Chemicals In Common Cosmetics Linked To Diabetes Risk

Is Your Mascara Making You Ill?

Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) claim they've found a link between chemicals in everyday make-up cosmetics and diabetes in women.

Phthalates are the chemical compounds found in plasticisers - the substance added to plastic to make it flexible and transparent.

They are commonly used in cosmetics and make-up packaging, as well as in pharmaceutical pills, gelling agents, adhesives lubricants, emulsifying agents and even in fatty food products like milk, butter and some meats.

The chemical has previously raised health concerns after links to 'hormone disruption' to the endocrine system were noted by researchers.

The new study, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, suggests an association between high levels of phthalates in the body and an increased risk of diabetes in women.

Researchers analysed urine samples taken from 2,350 participants who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They found that women with higher levels of phthalates in their urine had almost twice the risk of developing diabetes than those with low levels of the chemical in their sample.

"This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes," said study author, Dr. James-Todd in a statement.

"We know that in addition to being present in personal care products, phthalates also exist in certain types of medical devices and medication that is used to treat diabetes and this could also explain the higher level of phthalates in diabetic women. So overall, more research is needed."

Antiperspirant parabens (the chemicals found in many toiletries such as face wash, shampoos and make-up) was recently linked to increasing the risk of breast cancer, as scientists claimed the chemicals sink through the armpit skin.

Before you slap on the lippy - take a look at these potential health hazards lurking in your make-up bag...

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