Is Modern Soap Causing Earlier Puberty?
The average age at which young people enter puberty has been falling for decades. There are many theories as to why this has been happening- a popular theory blames hormones in dairy products- but no one knows for sure.
A recent study examined the role of modern soaps and shampoos. The researchers looked at common types of chemicals (phthalates, parabens and phenols) found in personal care products. They followed 338 children from pregnancy until puberty. They measures the presence of phthalates, parabens and phenols in the urine of their mother’s during pregnancy, and then from the children at age 9.
The result? There was a relationship between the amount of chemicals they detected and age of puberty onset, but only for girls.
These chemicals may, therefore, have some effect on the human endocrine system, possibly by mimicking the effects of estrogen. Another estrogen-like chemical with unknown effects :the isoflavones found in soy.