BACKGROUND: Hormonally active environmental agents may alter the course of pubertal development in girls, which is controlled by steroids and gonadotropins. OBJECTIVES: We investigated associations of concurrent exposures from three chemical classes (phenols, phthalates, and phytoestrogens) with pubertal stages in a multiethnic longitudinal study of 1,151 girls from New York City, New York, greater Cincinnati, Ohio, and northern California who were 6-8 years of age at enrollment (2004-2007). METHODS: We measured urinary exposure biomarkers at visit 1 and examined associations with breast and pubic hair development (present or absent, assessed 1 year later) using multivariate adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Modification of biomarker associations by age-specific body mass index percentile (BMI%) was investigated, because adipose tissue is a source of peripubertal hormones. RESULTS: Breast development was present in 30% of girls, and 22% had pubic hair. High-molecular-weight phthalate (high MWP) metabolites were weakly associated with pubic hair development [adjusted PR, 0.94 (95% CI, 0.88-1.00), fifth vs. first quintile]. Small inverse associations were seen for daidzein with breast stage and for triclosan and high MWP with pubic hair stage; a positive trend was observed for low-molecular-weight phthalate biomarkers with breast and pubic hair development. Enterolactone attenuated BMI associations with breast development. In the first enterolac-tone quintile, for the association of high BMI with any development, the PR was 1.34 (95% CI, 1.23-1.45 vs. low BMI). There was no BMI association in the fifth, highest quintile of enterolactone. CONCLUSIONS: Weak hormonally active xenobiotic agents investigated in this study had small associations with pubertal development, mainly among those agents detected at highest concentrations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health