Posted on Dec 24, 2015, 6 a.m.
Women exposed to persistent organic pollutants may experience menopause at a younger age.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are thought to alter the body's hormonal balance by replicating the activity of naturally occurring estrogen. EDCs are everpresent in an array of commonly available food, textiles, drugs, household, and personal-care products such as plastic bottles, toys, and cosmetics. Natalia M. Grindler, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine (Colorado, USA), and colleages reviewed data collected on 31,575 women enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2008, The team assessed the levels of 111 potential chemicals present in the women surveyed and found that 15 of those chemicals, which are used in cosmetics, plastics and household cleaners, could be causing women to go through menopause early. Those women exposed to phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, surfactants and organophosphate pesticides experienced menopause 1.9 years to 3.8 years earlier than women with lower levels of the same chemicals. Writing that: “This study of a representative sample of US women documents an association between [endocrine disrupting chemicals] and earlier age at menopause,” the study authors urge that their findings: “warrant closer evaluation because of their persistence and potential detrimental effects on ovarian function.”
Natalia M. Grindler, Jenifer E. Allsworth, George A. Macones, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Kimberly A. Roehl, Amber R. Cooper. “Persistent Organic Pollutants and Early Menopause in U.S. Women.” PLOS ONE, 28 Jan 2015.