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Could Your Make-Up Put You At Risk Of Early Menopause?

Could Your Make-Up Put You At Risk Of Early Menopause?
Barges and tugs carrying out Phase Two of the salvaging work on the sunken MV Southern Phoenix at the Suva harbour. Photo: Inoke Rabonu
January 31
10:40 2015

Chemicals commonly found in make-up, toiletries and food packaging are causing women to go through the menopause up to four years early.

Fifteen different chemicals were identified by a team of researchers at Washington University in St Louis.

Among them were phthalates, which are used to soften plastics.They are found in food packaging and household products, including perfume, lipsticks, body wash, hair care products and nail varnishes.

The scientists analysed the levels of 111 chemicals in the blood and urine of the 31,575 women taking part in the study.

They pinpointed those substances thought to interfere with the natural production and distribution of hormones in the body.

While past studies have looked at the link between so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals and the menopause, this new research marks the first large scale study of its kind.

Their findings show women with higher levels of certain chemicals go through the change two to four years earlier than those with lower levels.

A decline in ovarian function not only affects fertility, but can lead to a woman suffering heart disease, osteoporosis and other health problems.

The chemicals are also known to increase the risk of certain cancers, metabolic syndrome and, in younger females, early puberty.

Many of these chemical exposures are beyond our control because they are in the soil, water and air.

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