Current medical alternative treatments.
"BBP is in the environment, so a constant exposure via inhalation and digestive tract can reach many different organs including the breast.
"In this study, we found how the action of this compound present in everyday life affects the development of the rats.
"This is an indication that the same could happen in humans. Even if an individual is exposed to it in the beginning of life, BBP can cause alterations later in life.
"In this direction, we are evaluating if the exposure of this compound in young girls is associated with early puberty and breast development."
The researchers say more studies are needed to determine if the chemical actually does increase the risk of breast cancer in rats.
Two years ago a study found one of the first links between phthalates and genital defects.
Researchers at the University of Rochester, New York, discovered that women with higher levels of phthalate break-down chemicals, or metabolites, in their urine were more likely to give birth to boys with under-developed sexual organs.
The Women's Environmental Network said phthalates were present in four out of five cosmetic products on sale in Britain.
"There are safer alternatives," said a spokesman. "We want to see them removed from all cosmetics. People are putting numerous cosmetics on their skin each day - from shower gel, to hair spray and moisturiser.
"Trace elements are being absorbed by the skin and they can build up in
the body and have a long-term effect."
Lead in lipstick? Millions of women put on lipstick every day without ever considering whether dangerous chemicals lurk inside the tube.A study by University of California researchers found nine toxic heavy metals, including chromium, cadmium, aluminum, manganese, and lead in testing of 24 lip glosses and eight lipsticks. .