New Study Suggests Link between Environmental Toxins and Early Onset Puberty in Girls
Although scientists have speculated over the negative effects of environmental toxins for years, new data suggest that certain environmental toxins may disrupt the normal growth and hormonal development of girls.
Some of these toxins, such as the mycoestrogen zearalenone (ZEA) produced by the Fusarium fungus species, can be found naturally in the environment, have properties similar to the female reproductive hormone estrogen, and are also structurally similar to anabolic growth agents used in animal breeding. A new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests that certain mycoestrogens may be directly linked to the early onset of sexual development in young girls.
Dr. Francesco Massart and colleagues from the University of Pisa in Italy studied a group of girls affected by the early onset of puberty, or central precocious puberty (CPP), from the North-West region of Tuscany. They undertook the study to explain why this area has a much higher than average incidence of CPP. The authors tested the girls for mycoestrogens to see if environmental toxins were a factor in the girls’ premature sexual development.
Six of the 17 girls with CPP were found to have elevated levels of ZEA. According to Dr. Massart, “Although this finding might be incidental, ZEA may be related to CPP occurrence in girls exposed to mycoestrogens. However, the presence of ZEA pollution could not explain the epidemic of CPP in the region, suggesting that other environmental factors such as herbicides and pesticides may be involved.”
The authors also noted that because of its chemical resemblance to some anabolic growth agents used in animal breeding, ZEA may promote accelerated growth in exposed children. Though the researchers were unable to identify a definitive cause of the high rates of CPP in this region of Tuscany, the study identifies the need for more research into the possible negative effects of environmental pollutants on children.
Brigid Huey | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...