Endocrine Disruptors and Pubertal Timing: New Evidence in a Complex Area

Around the world, girls on average are entering puberty earlier, and there’s evidence that boys, too, may be experiencing changes in pubertal timing. 

Rising childhood obesity rates likely play a role in the trend—but what about exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA)? 

Experimental studies have shown plenty of evidence that higher perinatal exposures to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and BPA can indeed hasten puberty in female rodents. However, results from human studies have been mixed.

A recent study reported in Environmental Health Perspectives adds to the mix of evidence, with the data in this case indicating delayed pubertal onset in girls and earlier onset in boys in association with phthalate and BPA exposures.


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