Early Puberty and Environmental Degradation

I am going out on the limb a little ways and predicting that environmental degradation, the prevalence of environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen are going to be the primary cause of the early puberty onset. The article in the NYT mentions some of the downsides, including increased risk of cancer and the psychosocial issues related to early onset puberty, but it does not sound an alarm very loudly.

The article also makes no connection between obesity, consumption of mass produced food-like substances, fast-food nutrition and exposure to higher levels of certain chemicals that relate to feedlot practices, the wholesale use of antibiotics, and other feed and animal cultivation practices that are simply unprecedented in human history.

The thing to take away from a story like this one is that our environment is not that large. With a population of 6 plus billion human beings it is possible for us to begin to change the environment in ways that may not be good for our species. We might want to think that through.

clipped from www.nytimes.com
First Signs of Puberty Seen in Younger Girls

A new study finds that girls are more likely today than in the past to start developing breasts by age 7 or 8.

Increased rates of obesity are thought to play a major role, because body fat can produce sex hormones. Some researchers also suspect that environmental chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen may be speeding up the clock on puberty, but that idea is unproved.

The new study is being published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics. It was paid for by government grants and conducted at hospitals that are part of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers, a group formed in 2003 after breast cancer advocates petitioned Congress to set aside money to study possible links between environmental exposures and breast cancer.

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