A study found that phthalates may trigger menopause 2.5 years early. This moves the average age at the onset of menopause from 51 to 49 years. Phthalates are used as plasticizer in cosmetics, polymer materials and household cleaners. Researchers from Washington University, Missouri presented their findings at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s conference. They had looked at the urinary phthalate leves of almost 6000 women who had participated in the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).