No link between phthalates and diabetes, argues CTPA

Research linking chemicals known as phthalates, which are present in some self tan and nail polish, to diabetes has been slammed by industry body the Cosmetic Toiletries and Perfumeries Association (CTPA).

 
A team from a US hospital said they had found a link to suggest higher levels of phthalates in the body put people at greater risk of diabetes. 
 
Phthalates are a type of chemical found in beauty and hair products including some nail polishes, self tan, shampoos and soaps, as well as in many medicines, foods and packaging.
 
The scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, US, said they found that women who had the highest concentrations of the phthalates in their bodies had up to double the risk of developing diabetes compared to those with the lowest concentrations.
 
They also said those with high concentrations had a higher risk of insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
 
The findings came from analysis of a 2008 study of 2,350 US women aged 20 to 80. The women were given a variety of physical examinations and 217 had diabetes.
 
However, CTPA said in a statement ""Of the particular phthalates mentioned in the study and the reports (mono-benzyl phthalate, mono-isobutyl phthalate, mono-n-butyl phthalate and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate is banned from use in cosmetic products in Europe and we are not aware that any of the others are used in cosmetic products."
 
The CTPA also noted that the researchers themselves had cautioned that their work is at an early stage and the lead researcher, Dr James-Todd, said: “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. So overall, more research is needed.”
 
The CTPA concluded: "It is important to stress that no direct links have been found between diabetes and the use of phthalates in personal care products; something that the authors of the study acknowledge."