Scientists Link Phthalates in Vinyl to Diabetes

By Kristie Turck •  Published 08/06/12 •  2 min read

Phthalates are found in most vinyl and PVC products like this rbber duckie. Poor duckie.

I haven’t talked about WHY we try to avoid chemicals around here in a while but after reading this article on CHEJ.org I thought I would use it as a good reminder for all of us.  It’s easy to look past what chemicals can be doing to us without noticing.  I know all about why phthalates (a chemical used in vinyl and many other products like glues, adhesives, flooring, roofing materials, pipes, perfume, make up, skin care, candles, air fresheners, and anything else scented) are bad for us and our health.  But after time goes by it gets shoved to the back of my mind.  It’s worth a refresher course.

A study recently led by Harvard researchers revealed that phthalates linked to higher rates of diabetes in women.  Their study found that the “diabetes rate was double for women with the highest levels of phthalates in their bodies, even after accounting for sociodemographic, behavioral, and dietary factors. Phthalates were also linked to higher blood glucose levels and insulin resistance, two common precursors of type 2 diabetes.”  according to the article.  DOUBLE for those with phthalates in their bodies.

The article says,

“Another study published in April by the American Diabetes Association found that people with higher phthalates in their bodies had about twice the risk of diabetes as those with lower levels.  Another study published last year also found a link between phthalate exposure and diabetes.

Phthalates aren’t the only vinyl chemicals that may be associated with diabetes.

The production and disposal of vinyl plastic, like the roofing and flooring in our children’s schools, is a major source of dioxin. A number of studies published over the years have linked dioxin exposure to diabetes.

It’s another example of evidence mounted against the use of a dangerous chemical that has no business being in our environment, making us sick.  Read the full article here on Chej.org where you can also find links to the actual studies.

What Can I Do?

Advocate for safer building materials in your schools and work places, Support organizations like CHEJ.org and Take Action, and Write to your government officials asking them to support the Safer Chemicals Act!