A new study links phthalates, a common ingredient in the beauty aisle, to a higher risk of diabetes in women. Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital discovered that those with larger levels of certain types of phthalates (mono-benzyl and mono-isobutyl) in their urine were at twice the risk of diabetes. And di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), which has been found in some fragrances, may increase the possibility of diabetes up to 70 percent. "This is an important first step in exploring the connection between phthalates and diabetes," said lead scientist Dr. Tamarra James-Todd.
Companies use this "plasticizer" to preserve the scent in skin care products, give hair spray movement, and diminish cracking in nail polish. But phthalates have garnered negative attention as they are thought to mimic and disrupt hormones. Currently the FDA has no official regulations regarding the chemical in beauty, but they do advise manufacturers to choose safer alternatives to di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) or DEHP when it comes to their inclusion in certain drug and biologic products. Keep reading for more.