University of California Berkeley study: Chemicals used in personal care products linked to early puberty in girls

23 Dec

The goal of this society should be to raise healthy and happy children who will grow into concerned and involved adults who care about their fellow citizens and environment. Science Daily reported in Prenatal exposure to common household chemicals linked with substantial drop in child IQ:

Children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of two common chemicals found in the home–di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP)–had an IQ score, on average, more than six points lower than children exposed at lower levels, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The study is the first to report a link between prenatal exposure to phthalates and IQ in school-age children. Results appear online in the journal PLOS ONE.
PSYBLOG lists common household items in 8 Household Items Newly Found to Lower Children’s IQ Significantly:
Avoiding phthalates
While it is impossible to avoid phthalates completely, they are found in these common products, amongst others:
• Hairspray.
• Plastic containers used for microwaving food.
• Lipstick.
• Air fresheners.
• Dryer sheets.
• Nail polish.
• Some soaps.
• Recycled plastics labelled 3,6 or 7.

A University of California Berkeley study found chemicals in personal care products could be linked to early puberty in girls.

Healio reported in Chemicals used in personal care products linked to early puberty in girls:

Prenatal exposure to chemicals found in toothpaste, fragrances and makeup may cause girls to enter puberty at an earlier age, according to a study published in Human Reproduction….
“We also found that girls who had higher levels of parabens (used as preservatives in makeup and other personal care products) in their urine at age 9 also entered puberty about 6 months earlier than those with lower levels.”
Harley and colleagues used data from the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) — a longitudinal birth cohort study of pesticides and other environmental exposures among children in a farmworker community — to follow 338 children (179 girls) from birth to adolescence. Pregnant women were enrolled in CHAMACOS between 1999 and 2000, and most were Latina, living below the federal poverty line and had not graduated from high school. The researchers measured concentrations of chemicals in urine collected from the mothers during pregnancy and children aged 9 years.
Harley and colleagues used Tanner staging to measure pubertal timing among the children every 9 months between the ages of 9 and 13 years.
The researchers noted an association between earlier onset of pubic hair development in girls and prenatal urinary monoethyl phthalate concentrations, and earlier menarche and prenatal triclosan and 2.4-dichlorophenol concentrations. Methyl paraben was associated with earlier breast and pubic hair development and menarche; probyl paraben was associated with earlier menarche; and 2.5 dichlorophenol was associated with later pubic hair development.
The researchers found no associations between prenatal urinary biomarker concentrations and the early onset of puberty in boys, and only one association with peripubertal concentrations: propyl paraben was linked to earlier genital development.
The study results are “important because earlier puberty in girls is associated with an increased risk for mental health and behavior problems in childhood and increased risk for breast cancer later in life,” Harley said. “These chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and appear to act as weak estrogens in some circumstances, which may explain why we found the associations in girls but not boys….


Harley KG, Berger KP, Kogut K, et al. Association of phthalates, parabens and phenols found in personal care products with pubertal timing in girls and boys [published online December 4, 2018]. Hum Reprod. doi:10.1093/humrep/dey337

Here is the press release from University of California Berkeley:

Prenatal exposure to chemicals in personal care products may speed puberty in girls
By Kara Manke| December 3, 2018
Many personal care products contain chemicals that are known endocrine-disruptors. A new study shows that prenatal exposure to two common chemicals, diethyl phosphate and triclosan, may be linked to earlier puberty in girls.
Girls exposed to chemicals commonly found in toothpaste, makeup, soap and other personal care products before birth may hit puberty earlier, according to a new longitudinal study led by researchers at UC Berkeley.
The results, which were published Dec. 4 in the journal Human Reproduction, came from data collected as part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) study, which followed 338 children from before birth to adolescence to document how early environmental exposures affect childhood development.
Over the past 20 years, studies have shown that girls and possibly boys have been experiencing puberty at progressively younger ages. This is troubling news, as earlier age at puberty has been linked with increased risk of mental illness, breast and ovarian cancer in girls and testicular cancer in boys.
Researchers in the School of Public Health found that daughters of mothers who had higher levels of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in their bodies during pregnancy experienced puberty at younger ages. The same trend was not observed in boys.
Diethyl phthalate is often used as a stabilizer in fragrances and cosmetics. The antimicrobial agent triclosan — which the FDA banned from use in hand soap in 2017 because it was shown to be ineffective — is still used in some toothpastes.
“We know that some of the things we put on our bodies are getting into our bodies, either because they pass through the skin or we breathe them in or we inadvertently ingest them,” said Kim Harley, an associate adjunct professor in the School of Public Health. “We need to know how these chemicals are affecting our health.”
Researchers suspect that many chemicals in personal care products can interfere with natural hormones in our bodies, and studies have shown that exposure to these chemicals can alter reproductive development in rats. Chemicals that have been implicated include phthalates, which are often found in scented products like perfumes, soaps and shampoos; parabens, which are used as preservatives in cosmetics; and phenols, which include triclosan.
However, few studies have looked at how these chemicals might affect the growth of human children. “We wanted to know what effect exposure to these chemicals has during certain critical windows of development, which include before birth and during puberty,” Harley said.
The CHAMACOS study recruited pregnant women living in the farm-working, primarily Latino communities of Central California’s Salinas Valley between 1999 and 2000. While the primary aim of the study was to examine the impact of pesticide exposure on childhood development, the researchers used the opportunity to examine the effects of other chemicals as well.
The team measured concentrations of phthalates, parabens and phenols in urine samples taken from mothers twice during pregnancy, and from children at the age of 9. They then followed the growth of the children — 159 boys and 179 girls — between the ages of 9 and 13 to track the timing of developmental milestones marking different stages of puberty.
The vast majority — more than 90 percent — of urine samples of both mothers and children showed detectable concentrations of all three classes of chemicals, with the exception of triclosan which was present in approximately 70 percent of samples.
The researchers found that every time the concentrations of diethyl phthalate and triclosan in the mother’s urine doubled, the timing of developmental milestones in girls shifted approximately one month earlier. Girls who had higher concentrations of parabens in their urine at age 9 also experienced puberty at younger ages. However, it is unclear if the chemicals were causing the shift, or if girls who reached puberty earlier were more likely to start using personal care products at younger ages, Harley said.
“While more research is needed, people should be aware that there are chemicals in personal care products that may be disrupting the hormones in our bodies,” Harley said.
Consumers who are concerned about chemicals in personal care products can take practical steps to limit their exposure, Harley said.
“There has been increasing awareness of chemicals in personal care products and consumer demand for products with lower levels of chemicals,” Harley said. “Resources like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database or the Think Dirty App can help savvy consumers reduce their exposure.”
Co-authors include Kimberly P. Berger, Katherine Kogut, Kimberly Parra and Brenda Eskenazi of UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health; Robert H. Lustig of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco; Louise C. Greenspan of the Department of Pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente; and Antonia M. Calafat and Xiaoyun Ye of the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This research was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) grants R21 ES024909, P01 ES009605, R01 ES017054, RC2 ES018792, R01 ES021369, and R24 ES028529 and the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) grants R82670901, RD83171001, and RD83451301.
Association of phthalates, parabens and phenols found in personal care products with pubertal timing in boys and girls (Human Reproduction)
CHAMACOS study website

Saundra Young of CNN wrote about toxic chemicals in ‘Putting the next generation of brains in danger.’

According to Young there are several types of chemicals which pose a danger:

The best example of this, he said, is cosmetics and phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products from cosmetics, perfume, hair spray, soap and shampoos to plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, miniblinds, food containers and plastic wrap.
You can also find them in plastic plumbing pipes, medical tubing and fluid bags, vinyl flooring and other building materials. They are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl.
In Europe, cosmetics don’t contain phthalates, but here in the United States some do.
Phthalates previously were used in pacifiers, soft rattles and teethers. But in 1999, after a push from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, American companies stopped using them in those products.
“We certainly have the capability, it’s a matter of political will,” Landrigan said. “We have tried in this country over the last decade to pass chemical safety legislation but the chemical industry and their supporters have successfully beat back the effort.”
However, the Food and Drug Administration said two of the most common phthalates, — dibutylphthalate, or DBP, used as a plasticizer in products such as nail polishes to reduce cracking by making them less brittle, and dimethylphthalate, or DMP used in hairsprays — are now rarely used in this country.
Diethylphthalate, or DEP, used in fragrances, is the only phthalate still used in cosmetics, the FDA said.
“It’s not clear what effect, if any, phthalates have on human health,” according to the FDA’s website. “An expert panel convened from 1998 to 2000 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institute for Environmental Safety and Health, concluded that reproductive risks from exposure to phthalates were minimal to negligible in most cases….”

See, Helping to protect children from the harmful effects of chemicals

Children will have the most success in school, if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Our goal as a society should be a healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr.

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