It was first discovered that boys and girls in the U.S. seemed to be going through puberty at younger ages in the 1990s, but recent studies add even more support. Exposure to commonly used household chemicals have caused American girls to get their periods even earlier than ever before, according to a 2012 analysis by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This study adds to the growing body of scientific research that exposure to environmental chemicals may be associated with earlier puberty,” explains CDC researcher and lead author Danille Buttke. American Academy of Pediatrics researchers found that a similar thing is happening to boys, too; boys are now beginning puberty six months to two years earlier, around the ages of nine and ten.
While the early onset of puberty could also be attributed to the rising obesity rate, many researchers maintain that Bisphenol A (BPA) and other similar chemicals that disrupt hormones are to blame. Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating organic foods free of antibiotics and hormones, staying active, and using natural cleaning products, can help to reduce the risk of problems caused by these environmental chemicals.