Endocrine disrupters and pubertal timing

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Purpose of reviewThe current review summarizes recent epidemiologic data demonstrating the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on the timing of puberty and highlights the complexity of understanding the interplay of environmental and genetic factors on pubertal timing.Recent findingsIn girls, there have been mixed results, with some exposures being associated with earlier timing of puberty, and some with later puberty. In boys, prepubertal exposures to nondioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls accelerate puberty, whereas levels of insecticides, dioxin-like compounds, organochlorine pesticides, and lead delay puberty.SummaryThe effects of EDCs on pubertal timing are sexually dimorphic, compound specific, and varies according to the window of exposure. These studies confirm that low-level exposures to a mix of environmental compounds may mask the effects of individual compounds and complicate our ability to translate data from animal studies to human health and to fully understand the clinical implications of environmental epidemiology studies.

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