I've warned you plenty about the risks of phthalate exposure for kids: These hormone-like chemicals used in plastics, cosmetics, scented candles, and more cause everything from bad behavior to developmental problems.

And if you have a boy but wish "he" was a "she," just light the candles and let him inhale -- because phthalates mimic estrogen in the body. It's one of the main reasons boys are growing up to be sissies, complete with their own set of breasts.

But forget the kids, because today I want to talk about how these chemicals can ruin YOU, starting with a dramatic boost in your risk of diabetes.

I'm sure most people don't need much help in that department, thanks to the one-two punch of the modern diet and sedentary lifestyle.

But if you're teetering on the brink of disease, phthalates can push you right over the edge -- because a new study on 1,000 senior Swedish women finds that high blood levels of these chemicals will DOUBLE your risk.

This isn't exactly a stunner since phthalates have been linked in studies to insulin resistance, high blood glucose, weight gain, increased abdominal fat, and all the other usual suspects that work in cahoots with diabetes.

But it's one thing to know all that. It's quite another to actually do something about it, because avoiding phthalates is practically a full-time job.

Most personal items with fragrance of any kind contain them, including candles and air fresheners. They're also in shower curtains, vinyl flooring, upholstery, sealants, inks, and more.

Phthalate fumes are even responsible for the so-called "new car smell."

Like I said, it's not easy -- but do the best you can here for yourself and the rest of your family. Everyone's health is on the line.