Nail Polish, Hairspray Linked to Diabetes

Study pinpoints concentration of phthalates in urine

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 16, 2012 12:01 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bad news for the well manicured: If the cosmetics you slather yourself with contain phthalates, you may be more likely to get type 2 diabetes. A new study finds a link between the man-made chemicals—which can mimic human hormones and are found in everything from nail polish to shampoo to hairspray—and the disease. Women ages 20 to 80 were studied, and those whose urine contained the highest concentration of the chemicals were almost twice as likely to have diabetes as those with the lowest concentrations.

Even those with moderately high levels had an increased risk of about 70%, the Daily Mail reports. Researchers hypothesize that phthalates might mess with the metabolism of fat tissue, thus leading to insulin resistance, often a precursor to diabetes. But your self-tanner and moisturizer may not be doing all the damage: The researchers did note that phthalates aren't exclusively used in cosmetics; you'll find them in everything from vinyl flooring to food packaging to toys. You can tell if your favorite soap contains phthalates by reading the label's ingredients list.

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