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cosmetics-may-increase-diabetes-risksYour Cosmetics and Hair Spray Could Cause Diabetes

If you are using cosmetics and hair spray on a daily basis, you could be increasing your chance of having diabetes. That is what a new cosmetics and diabetes study is suggesting. Chemical concentrations known as phthalates are present in personal care products and have been found in elevated levels in women who use the products.

Can Cosmetics Cause Diabetes?

Phthalates, found in cosmetics, are linked to increased diabetes risk, and found regularly in nail polish, soap, perfumes, hairsprays and moisturizer. Researchers studied the urine of nearly 2,500 women who participated in the "National Health and Nutrition Examination" survey. The women with the elevated levels of phthalates in their urine were significantly more likely to develop diabetes.

The study took place over a seven year period spanning 2001 through 2008 and was conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital, the first study of this nature. Especially relevant is that this study shows a direct correlation between phthalate metabolites and diabetes potential. However, phthalates additionally are found in medical equipment and even medication that treats diabetes. So experts caution that further research on cosmetics and diabetes is needed.

Diabetes affects 25 million Americans and the propensity to develop diabetes hinges on age, obesity, hereditary, a sedentary lifestyle, certain drugs, hypertension and even stress.

Harmful Health and Beauty Products

The idea that cosmetics and personal care products may contain harmful materials is not a new one. Companies abound on the Internet that are geared toward safer development of these products. One company, named safecosmetics.org has a plethora of information about which personal care or cosmetic products are controversial. The company is urging the FDA to research the chemical contents in the personal care and cosmetic industry to assure safety for consumers.

In the meantime, according to safecosmetics.org, here are some of many chemicals to avoid when purchasing products. For further information visit the website.

Harmful Beauty Ingredients

Benzalkonium Chloride: linked to allergies, skin, eye and lung irritation. This chemical is found in cleaning agents and disinfectants used in the household.

Butylated Hydroxynisole (BHA): suspected to be a carcinogen harmful to humans. Can cause discoloration of the skin and has produced liver damage and stomach cancer. It is also believed to hamper the reproductive system and thyroid regulation. Even Europe has deemed it unsafe to use in fragrances. This chemical can be found in food packaging, food and personal care products.

Coal Tar Hair Dyes (Aminophernol, Diaminobenzene, Phenlenediamine): Known as a human carcinogen, hair stylists are exposed to this daily. The long term ramifications of using this product are not yet known, however the FDA has approved it.

Hydantoin Bronopol: This is a preservative for cosmetics and has also been labeled a carcinogen. The chemical has been known to cause extreme allergic reactions. Nearly one fifth of cosmetics in the United States contain this chemical, which releases formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde: Many hair straighteners have this, as the release of the chemical provides stiffness to the hair.

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