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Ladies, that makeup could bring your menopause early

Are you fond of applying make-up every morning before stepping out of the house? Well, be warned: that make-up may accelerate the start of your menopause.

A recent study indicates that chemicals commonly found in make-ups, toiletries and food packaging are making women enter the menopause phase by up to four years before what is considered normal age.

A team of researchers at Washington University have identified 15 different chemicals that are contained in make-up that can speed up menopause.

They are found in food packaging and household products, including perfume, lipsticks, body wash, hair care products and nail varnish.

Among them were phthalates, a family of chemicals used in plastics and many other products to soften and increase flexibility.

Some phthalates, the researchers said, are used in food packaging, and others are common components of air fresheners, perfumes, detergents and cleaning products.

They are also used in cosmetics to hold colour and scents, and have also been found in nail polish.

REPRODUCTIVE TOXINS

According to the scientists who analysed the levels of 111 chemicals in the blood and urine of the 31,575 women, those found with higher levels of certain chemicals went through menopause two to four years earlier than those with lower levels.

The women’s blood and urine samples were analysed for exposure to mostly man-made chemicals which included known reproductive toxins or those that take more than a year to break down.

As well as phthalates the researchers looked at industrial combustion by-products and pollutants, plant-derived oestrogens, coolants, pesticides and surfactants.

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

The study also recommends that people should microwave food in glass or paper containers instead of using plastic.

People should also learn more about the ingredients in cosmetics, hygiene products and food packaging before purchasing.

Many of the chemicals used in the production of the cosmetics have been banned in the US. However, they are still used in other parts of the world therefore causing the alarm.

The researchers identified 15 chemicals – nine PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), three pesticides, two phthalates and a toxic chemical called a furan – that warrant closer inspection.