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Secular Trends in Pubertal Timing: A Role for Environmental Chemical Exposure?

  • Vincent F. GarryEmail author
  • Peter Truran
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE)

Abstract

Puberty is a time of great developmental change in human physiology leading to psychosocial and physical maturation. In this process, the interplay of pituitary, adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones is complex and critical for developmental success. It is fertile soil for the disruption of the process by environmental chemicals. In this chapter we discuss the normal physiologic events of puberty and how they may be altered by broad based population exposure to environmental chemicals. We examine the properties of selected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in terms of extent and level of exposure in the human population and their potential to produce effects as individual chemicals. For some of these chemicals and chemical classes including Bisphenol A, Dioxins, and Phthalates human exposure is global, every day and almost unavoidable. Finally, we will offer different views on the possible cumulative effects of these chemicals on puberty.

Keywords

Endocrine disruptors Endocrinology Environmental phenols Menarche Puberty Tanner stages 

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MinneapolisUSA

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