Phthalates from personal care products linked to diabetes

A study of 2,350 women published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that women with highest levels of phthalates in their urine, and hence in their body, are more than twice as likely to suffer from diabetes than women with the lowest levels of phthalates.

The article concludes:

Urinary levels of several phthalates were associated with prevalent diabetes. Future prospective studies are needed to further explore these associations to determine whether phthalate exposure can alter glucose metabolism, and increase the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

It is important to note that this issue may not be gender-specific. Previous studies have shown that women typically have higher urinary concentrations of several phthalate metabolites compared to men, possibly due to higher use of personal care products.

Given that most people would prefer to avoid diabetes, it is not unreasonable to suspect that this study may eventually lead to demand for phthalate-free food packaging, cosmetics, perfumes, nail polishes, flooring, and other industrial products.

The study is available at http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.1104717#Ahead of Print (AOP)

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