Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Risks of early puberty and hormone disrupting chemicals

Winter chapped lips need soothing? We'll get to that below, but first, here's some important news: Women who enter puberty before age 12 may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and die of stroke, heart attacks or cancer, according to a new study of 16,000 middle-aged to elderly women published in the December Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. According to researchers at Cambridge University, women who had their first menstrual period before age 12 had a 28 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular causes and a 25 higher risk of dying from cancer. Reuters quoted the researchers as saying there may be a connection to body fat, since heavier girls tend to start menstruating earlier.

No reason to be glum about things we can't change, of course, but the study is a good reason to be mindful of factors such as excess body fat that have previously been linked to disease. We can also reduce exposures to suspected hormone disrupting chemicals in cosmetics and plastics, some of which have been linked to early puberty and other reproductive system anomalies. For a good summary of the science on hormone disrupting chemicals and the trend towards ever-earlier puberty, see this study by the Breast Cancer Fund.

So shop defensively! It's easy; I've done the research for you. For more information, click on the links below for my articles and lists concerning:
*top cosmetics ingredients to avoid ,
*recent studies on hormone disrupting chemicals linked to breast cancer
* greenwashing in cosmetics
* avoiding the toxic chemicals Bisphenol-A and phthalates, which may also, I kid you not, be implicated in our obesity epidemic.

Now for a little lip service. First, read this helpful new Rodale blog on nontoxic, natural lip soothers (full disclosure, it does quote me!).
For products, see GreenerPenny's top green lip sticks and balms.

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