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Personal care products are unsuspected cause of diabetes

Eliezer Ben-Joseph, August 21, 2012

Personal care products could be an unsuspected cause of diabetes in women. Chemicals in moisturizers, nail polish, soaps, hair sprays and perfumes increase the risk by up to 70 per cent.

The most dangerous chemicals are the phthalates, which have already been banned in the manufacture of toys and baby products across Europe and the US. However, they are still permitted in personal care products and cosmetics.

Women with the highest levels of the chemical in their body doubled their risk of diabetes, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital discovered.

They analysed the urine of 2,350 women, and found a direct link between phthalate levels and diabetes. Women with higher than average levels had between a 60 and 70 per cent increased risk of diabetes, depending on the type of phthalate found.

(Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, 2012; doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104717).