Could These Chemicals Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
At last, an excuse to avoid cleaning the house.
According to a new study published in the online Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, exposure to a particular chemical could be linked to the rise of type 2 diabetes.
New York University researcher Leonardo Trasande led a team in the analysis of over one thousand 70-75-year-olds living in the Swedish town of Uppsala. Through their examination, these researchers studied the seniors' level of exposure to chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system, such as phthalates, PCBs, pesticides and perfluoroalkyls. These chemicals are woefully common in our daily lives, appearing in cleaning products, textiles, and even some canned goods. Could these chemicals, they wondered, contribute to obesity – and in turn, type two diabetes?
Scientists reviewed the level of chemical exposure in their group, and then analyzed the instances of type 2 diabetes among their subjects. Based on this connection, they then estimated the impact a 25 percent reduction of these chemicals would have on the seniors.
The results were fascinating: a 25 percent decrease in chemical exposure could potentially result in a 13 percent decrease in diabetes cases among their patients. Though 13 percent may not sound like a huge number, it would amount to approximately 150,000 few incidences of the condition throughout Europe.
"Our findings speak to the need for a strong regulatory framework that proactively identifies chemical hazards before they are widely used, and the use of safer alternatives," the researchers said."In the absence of such a framework, newly developed synthetic chemicals may emerge as diabetogenic exposures, replacing banned or substituted hazards as contributors."
Of course, endocrine disrupting chemicals are not solely to blame for the rise of obesity and diabetes across the globe. In fact, Trasande's team did admit that while a 25 percent reduction in these chemicals would amount to a 13 percent drop in diabetes, a 25 percent drop in the subjects' BMI would result in a 40 percent drop in diabetes.
However, this new research does shed some light on the potential harm everyday products cause to our system, and it adds to the growing body of research condemning the chemicals we once considered commonplace.