Chemicals in beauty and personal care products may boost women's risk of diabetes, according to a study from Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers found elevated concentrations of phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals commonly used in products such as soaps, nail polishes, hair sprays, perfumes and moisturizers, in the urine of their female subjects. 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.
The researchers also cautioned that the women in the study "self-reported" their diabetes, a less than ideal method of conducting research. And while the study found a potential connection between phthalates and diabetes in women, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.