I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the gorgeous weather (if you had it like we are having in the Midwest).
I ran across an article today that is talking about early onset puberty, also known as precocious puberty. We are seeing signs of puberty start at 7, where the age used to be 12. The repercussions of this shift include lower self esteem, depression, and riskier sexual behaviors. It has also been linked to heart disease and cancer.
It is not ethical to do controlled studies on children so what we have learned has mostly been through observational studies. We don’t fully understand why this is happening, but our environmental exposures are playing a role. Ingredients like phthalates, parabens, PCB’s, DDE (a breakdown product of the pesticide DDT), PFOA (found in non-stick cookware), flouride, and metals. We have also seen a link with low Vitamin D levels and precocious puberty. So, for those of us living in the frozen tundra and rarely see the sun for months, be sure you are getting adequate Vitamin D!
To reduce your risk of exposure, here are some recommendations.
- Switch to safer personal care and household products
- Remove plastic and switch to cloth shower curtain liners, glass and stainless steel storage containers, wood/ceramic instead of vinyl flooring
- If you are redoing your home, look for “greener” products
- Remove fragrance from your home. This is a big one! Get rid of anything with artificial scent.
- Be mindful of what you are eating and what they are packaged in. Avoid meat and dairy with added hormones. Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
With raising Elijah I have been aware of how his environment is impacting his health and controlling what I can. I didn’t make the switch to his products until he was 8 months old as I didn’t know any better. Now, with a daughter on the way I have been continuing to work at reducing her exposure in utero as we know that babies are exposed to everything we are while they are developing. We can only do the best we can.
Another Article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-more-children-puberty-signs-start-at-8-1466444787?mod=e2tw