The not-so-sweet smell of diabetes

Love your perfume? Don't inhale too deeply -- because most of today's scents contain dangerous chemicals that can actually increase your risk of diabetes.

The chemicals are called phthalates, and I've spilled plenty of digital ink over the years warning you about them. They're bad news for men, women, and children alike -- but because they're commonly found in personal care products like perfume and cosmetics, it's women who get the biggest levels of exposure.

And with the biggest levels of exposure come the biggest risks.

One new study 2,350 women taking part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey finds that even moderate levels of exposure to common phthalates can increase the risk of diabetes by up to 70 percent. And high levels of exposure to two of the more common phthalates can actually double your odds.

But at least they make you smell nice, right?

It's not the first study to make the link, by the way. One study earlier this year found that phthalates double the risk of diabetes in senior women, and I caught of whiff of similar news from a study out of Mexico last year.

But women aren't the only ones at risk here. Phthalates have something for everyone: behavioral problems and early puberty in girls, boobs in boys, early menopause in women, and low testosterone in men.

And that's just the short list.

Cutting your risk will take a lot more than tossing out the perfume. Phthalates are commonly found in cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos, but they're also in everything from vinyl flooring and shower curtains to candles and sex toys.

They're even responsible for the "new car smell."

You won't get your exposure down to zero at this point. But do what you can -- it's that important.