Everyday chemical exposures linked to earlier menopause

 A new study has demonstrated that few women experience menopause two to four years earlier whose bodies have high levels of chemicals found in plastics, personal-care products and common household items.

ANI| Updated: Feb 08, 2015, 16:42 PM IST

Washington: A new study has demonstrated that few women experience menopause two to four years earlier whose bodies have high levels of chemicals found in plastics, personal-care products and common household items.

The study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, looked at levels in blood and urine of 111 chemicals that are suspected of interfering with the natural production and distribution of hormones in the body.

Senior author Amber Cooper, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said that chemicals linked to earlier menopause may lead to an early decline in ovarian function, and their results suggested that they as a society should be concerned.

Cooper said that many of these chemical exposures are beyond their control because they are in the soil, water and air but they can educate ourselves about our day-to-day chemical exposures and become more aware of the plastics and other household products they use.

The women's blood and urine samples were analyzed for exposures to 111 mostly man-made chemicals, which included known reproductive toxins and/or those that take more than a year to break down.

Chemicals from the following categories were analyzed in the survey i.e. dioxins/furans (industrial combustion byproducts); phthalates (found in plastics, common household items, pharmaceuticals and personal-care products including lotions, perfumes, makeup, nail polish, liquid soap and hair spray); phytoestrogens (plant-derived estrogens); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, coolants); phenolic derivatives (phenols, industrial pollutants); organophosphate pesticides; surfactants; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (combustion products).

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.