Chemical in cosmetics linked to early onset of menopause - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Chemical in cosmetics linked to early onset of menopause

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Some doctors say your lipstick and hairspray may cause symptoms of early onset menopause.

"Most countries in Europe have banned phthalates from their products," Dr. Shary Borhan at Adelante Healthcare said.

Borhan said phthalates is a group of chemicals that act like a preservative.

"When the phthalates mimic estrogen, what ends up happening is your body stops making its own estrogen because it feels like it's getting an outside source," Borhan said.

More than 5,000 women were tested last December, according to research from Washington University.

In those women, the ones with the highest levels of phthalates went through menopause on an average of two to three years earlier than others. Some had menopause 15 years early, in their mid-thirties.

But the solution may not be as simple as giving up your favorite cosmetics.

"It's almost in every industry. It's in the cosmetic industry, which is a billion dollar industry, in our meats, in our dairy products," Borhan said.

Borhan said phthalates are nearly unavoidable - they are found in shampoo, medicine, plastic water bottles and practically every plastic container in the fridge.

Borhan said that makes it hard to link early menopause only to cosmetics, but it's obvious to Borhan that the chemical is starting to change women's health.

Borhan suggested trying to decrease the amount of phthalates in your life. Some cosmetics are chemical-free and she said to store foods in metal or glass containers if you can.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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