Cosmetics, often viewed as harmless, could be doing more damage than we think, according to a recent study. A survey conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston revealed that chemicals used in some nail polishes, fragrances, and hairsprays can increase the risk for diabetes.
The chemical in question, phthalates, is used to keep said products flexible. After analyzing 2,350 urine samples, the hospital discovered women with significant phthalate concentrations in urine were twice as likely to have diabetes than those with lowest concentrations.
The alarming stats may prompt women to be more selective about beauty products they use, but Tamara James-Todd, M.D., a researcher in women’s health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says the chemical is also present in medicine used to treat the disease: “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,” she said. “So overall, more research is needed.”