The substances that are mostly found in makeup and hygiene products, as well as in food packaging, affect women’s reproductive system and can determine the occurrence of menopause up to 4 years earlier than normal.
A team of researchers at Washington University, St. Louis, USA, have found 15 substances that are likely to produce such effects. Among these substances are also two types of phthalates that are used to make the plastic more pliable and are also included in perfumes, lipsticks, shower gels, hair care and nail polish.
Other products detected by the researchers are 9 types of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), three pesticides and a toxic compound of furans class.
The levels of 111 chemicals in urine samples from 31.575 women, who took part in the study, have been examined by the researchers, who have identified certain substances that can interfere with hormone production and circulation in the body, thus affecting the female reproduction function.
The women that had higher level of certain substances in their body reached menopause 2-4 years earlier that those who had lower level of those substances.
Not only the fertility is affected, but there is also a higher risk of suffering from heart disease, osteoporosis and other health problems. There is also an increased risk of suffering from certain types of cancer and, in girls, can lead to earlier puberty.
The specialists also explained the fact that it is extremely hard to stay away from these substances since they are practically everywhere – in soil, air and water. However there are ways to minimize the exposure to them.
- When heating food in a microwave, we should use glass or paper, not plastic;
- To learn more about ingredients in cosmetics, hygiene products and packaging;
- To reduce the consumption of bottled water in plastic;
- To reduce plastic pollution of the environment, especially the one with plastic bottles.