Girls reaching puberty as early as 8 in the USA

October 17, 2007

Health care professionals in the natural hormone field, like Dr John Lee, have been expressing concern for some years that the onset of puberty in girls is happening at a much earlier age than in previous generations. Their concern has centred on the fact that reaching puberty at a very early age will increase their risk of breast cancer because puberty exposes girls to more oestrogen. High levels of oestrogen are a known risk factor for breast cancer and indeed can cause it to flourish. According to a report by American biologist Sandra Steingraber, puberty is now occurring more regularly at the age of 8, rather than at 13 which was the previous norm. Her data indicates that if you get your first period before age 12, your risk of breast cancer is 50 percent higher than if you get it at age 16 and so her theory is that for every year we could delay a girl’s first menstrual period we could prevent thousands of breast cancers. Early puberty also has social and emotional implications for these young girls but hard evidence on what causes it are not known. Sandr Steingraber herself believes there are a number of causes but that is likely an ecological disorder arising from the increased amounts of oestrogen in our food and water, exposure to environmental chemicals coupled with increased childhood obesity and a substantial drop in exercise and activity like outdoor games.


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