Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Chemicals in plastics could contribute to diabetes

Cosmetics contain many different
chemicals, including phthalates
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos
Though there has been a lot of talk about how chemicals can affect one’s health, new studies reveal a link between these chemicals and diabetes in ethnic women, particularly African-Americans and Mexican-Americans.

In a previous post on phthalates, we looked at a study done on 1000 senior women and the correlation between those who had diabetes and the levels of phthalates in their system.

A new study now reveals that women belonging to a low socio-economic group are at higher risk for diabetes. This may not seem like news as the poor tend to eat cheaper and fattier foods, thereby gaining more weight. But what is of interest in this study is the culprit seems to be the plastics found in peoples' homes.

Phthalates are found in many different products, such as vinyl flooring, perfumes, shower curtains and cosmetics. Over 75 percent of Americans have phthalates in their system, but research into the chemical had, until now, largely focused on how it affected newborns.

Twenty-six million Americans suffer from diabetes, and the rates are highest among African-Americans. They are 77 percent more likely than Caucasians, to develop diabetes. Hispanics are the second most at-risk ethnic group with a 66 percent chance of developing diabetes over Caucasians.

There are many different types of phthalates on the market. Researchers have looked into dibutyl phthalates (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalates (BBP), Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalates (DEHP) and diethyl phthalates (DEP).  

Both DBPs and BBPs seem to double the rate of diabetes for women who demonstrated the highest concentrations of phthalates in their system, while DEHP showed similar, though less elevated, trends. 

BBPs are mostly used in vinyl flooring. The study found that women under the poverty line had 78 percent more BBPs in their systems than more financially stable women. 

DEPs, as of now, show no link to the disease. Of all the phthalates, DEP is the chemical most used in cosmetics. Though this could be cause for relief, the study also revealed that African-American women had double the amount of DEPs and DBPs in their system than did Caucasian women.

Do you think someone's socio-economic standing can cause him or her to develop diabetes? Share your thoughts with us!

Give yourself a fighting chance

AllerAir's air purifiers can help
you live a healthier life.
It can be daunting to know how prevalent chemicals are in our lives. Sometimes we feel like there is no escaping chemical exposure. But there are ways to mitigate your contact with some of the most harmful chemicals out there. 

First start by doing some research on the cosmetics and personal care products you apply to your body daily. Replace the worst offenders with healthier options.  For those products that are impossible to get rid of, reduce your exposure to the gases and chemicals in the air by getting an air purifier that can remove them.

AllerAir’s air purifiers can aid in improving your indoor air quality. To find out which air purifier would work best for you, contact one of our IAQ experts.

Show your support for a greener and healthier lifestyle. Become a member of this blog!

1 comment: