Cosmetics use linked to diabetes?

Researchers have warned that chemicals in plastics, cosmetics and toys can raise a person's risk of developing diabetes, though independent experts are not fully convinced.

A team at Sweden's Uppsala University has found that people with "modest" levels of the chemicals - called phthalates - in their blood are twice as likely to develop diabetes, 'The Daily Telegraph' said.

The chemicals called phthalates are used in products such as clingfilm as it can be a softening agent in plastics but they can be used in cosmetics such as self tans and perfumes.

The researchers have based their findings, published in the 'Diabetes Care' journal, on an analysis of data from 1,000 people aged over 70, of which 114 developed diabetes.

After taking into account factors that are known to cause type 2 diabetes , including obesity, smoking, high cholesterol, they found people with higher levels of phthalates in their blood were more likely to develop diabetes.

Monica Lind, who led the study, said: "Although our results need to be confirmed, they do support the hypothesis that certain chemicals can contribute to the development of diabetes."

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