12 June 2012
Exposure to certain chemicals, called phthalates, found in cosmetics and plastics, may raise the risk of developing diabetes in seniors.
A study of more than 1000 people aged over 70 years found that those with high levels of phthalates in their blood had almost twice the risk of developing diabetes, compared with those with lower levels, even after adjusting for gender, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, educational level, smoking and exercise habits.
Certain phthalates were also associated with disrupted insulin production in the pancreas.
Phthalates are used as softening agents in plastics and carriers of perfumes in personal-care products. They can be found in solid air freshener, scented candles, cosmetics, detergents, hairspray, soap, shampoo and lotions.
Last Reviewed: 12 June 2012