Chemicals in make-up linked to diabetes

Chemicals in make-up linked to diabetes

Researchers have warned that chemicals in plastics, cosmetics and toys can raise a person’s risk of developing diabetes, though independent experts are not fully convinced.

The chemicals called phthalates are used in cosmetics such as self tans and perfumes.

A team at Uppsala University in Sweden has found that people with “modest” levels of the chemicals — called phthalates — in their blood are twice as likely to develop diabetes.
The chemicals called phthalates are used in products such as clingfilm as it can be a softening agent in plastics but they can be used in cosmetics such as self tans and perfumes.

The researchers have based their findings, published in the ‘Diabetes Care’ journal, on an analysis of data from 1,000 people aged over 70, of which 114 developed diabetes.

After taking into account factors that are known to cause type 2 diabetes, including obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, they found people with higher levels of phthalates in their blood were more likely to develop diabetes.

Monica Lind, who led the study, said: “Although our results need to be confirmed in more studies, they do support the hypothesis that certain environmental chemicals can contribute to the development of diabetes.”

She added: “We have done other studies into the effects of phthalates and discovered people exposed to them have a higher risk of obesity. On a study we did last year, we found pesticides and those kinds of substances gave people a higher risk of obesity and osteoporosis.

“Those pollutants containing phthalates are making people obese and now we find they could get diabetes. These products need to be tested. In perfume, we inhale phthalates that are used to delay the scent and increase lifetime of the perfume.”

However, Dr Iain Frame at Diabetes UK said: “It is a difficult area to research and this study was based on a relatively small number of white adults over 70 years old. It shows an association between some metabolites and the presence of diabetes, but does not show that their presence causes Type 2 diabetes.”

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