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New study uncovers link between diabetes and plastic chemical

Category: Diabetes

High levels of exposure to plastics chemicals known as phthalates may lead to unhealthy glucose blood tests, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.

After analyzing blood test samples from more than 1,000 adults, researchers from Uppsala University found that individuals who had more markers of phthalate exposure in their systems tended to have higher blood sugar levels. Many participants could have been classified as having diabetes.

Phthalates are found in a wide range of products, and most people are exposed to moderate levels every day. Aside from being a prime component of PVC plastics, the chemicals are also used in many cosmetics, home-care products, scented candles and solid air fresheners.

The researchers said these chemicals appeared to disrupt insulin production in participants. However, they would like to see more research done on the subject, as this is one of the first studies to link phthalates to diabetes risk. Determining the mechanism by which the chemicals cause diabetes will be central in proving the danger of phthalates and recommending controlling their use.

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