Nothing is scarier than when your menstrual cycle suddenly stops, but pregnancy may be the least of your worries. Imagine if your concealer causes it? Researchers at Washington University, Missouri, found that phthalates (prounounced "thal-lates") — the common solvents used in everything from packaged foods to cosmetics and nail polishes—may have an adverse impact on female hormones, not to mention links to cancer and diabetes! More importantly, they warn that it could potentially cause early menopause.
Dr. Natalia Grindler, one of the co-authors of the study, studied the levels of phthalates in the blood or urine of more than 5,000 women, and found that women with the highest amount of the chemical in their bodies went through the change an average of two years earlier. And in some cases, these nasty chemicals may be triggering women to stop having periods 15 years too soon!
There is already is extensive apprehension over the nascent health risks of phthalates, with recent studies having shown likely increases of cancer, diabetes and obesity, and one study shows evidence they may feminize the brains of young boys. A small pilot study published in the International Journal of Andrology showed preschool boys exposed in utero to high levels of phthalates may be less likely to play with male-typical toys and games, because they have been shown to lower testosterone.
Dr. Grindler , who presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s conference in San Diego, stated, "We absolutely think these chemicals have the potential to affect ovarian function and human reproduction," and while "there’s a lot that we don’t know at this point, our research is still preliminary, but it’s enough to suggest it is having a detrimental impact in the long-term."
Researchers have yet to figure out why some women are exposed to higher levels of these chemicals, but suggest it could be due to issues like wearing more makeup or drinking too much bottled water. So how can you avoid products without these potentially damaging chemicals? Carefully peruse the ingredients in all of your beauty products and edibles. You can find phthalates in your beauty products by their chemical abbreviations: DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), BzBP and DEP (diethyl phthalate.