It has been found that elevated concentrations of a chemical known as phthalates present in women’s bodies leads to an increased risk of diabetes.
The chemical; phthalate, is a hormone-disrupting chemical commonly used in products such as soaps, nail polishes, hair sprays, perfumes and moisturizers. It is also used in a number of other consumer products, such as electronics, toys and adhesives.
In the study carried out by researchers in the US, concentrations of phthalates in the urine of 2,350 women were analysed. They found that women with the highest levels of mono-benzyl phthalate and mono-isobutyl phthalate were nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes as those with the lowest levels of the two chemicals.
Women with higher-than-average levels of mono-(3-carboxypropyl) phthalate had about a 60 percent increased risk of diabetes, and those with moderately high levels of the chemicals mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate had about a 70 percent increased risk of diabetes.
The study, published online in the July 13 edition of the journal; Environmental Health Perspectives, was led by Tamarra James-Todd, a researcher in the division of women’s health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston.
However, despite the fact that the study is far advanced, the authors have cautioned that the finding is far from conclusive.
“This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes,” Tamara said in a hospital news release.
“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.”