Happy Family. Healthy Planet.®

Happy Family. Healthy Planet.®
Denver's Green Store for Cloth Diapers and More!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Estrogen in Your Sippy Cup?

An alarming story was recently in the news: studies conducted in three major cities show that girls are hitting puberty much earlier than before, some as young as seven years old. I don't know about you, but when I was in second grade, I didn't even know what puberty was! Some of these little girls are being treated with a device implanted under the skin which stops hormonal spikes, thus putting puberty off for a few more years. But wouldn't it be better to prevent the whole problem in the first place?

The obvious question is, why? What has changed in our world that our little girls are maturing so quickly? You'd think that with a lengthening average lifespan, girls would be hitting puberty later, not earlier. As a mama of a sweet little girl (almost a year old!), this article got me thinking.

The study didn't go into the reasons for the phenomenon, its job was just to document it. There will need to be further studies to explore the real causes. However, several experts weighed in. Dr. Frank Biro, director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and lead author of the study suggests there is a link between the obesity epidemic in children and premature puberty. Dr. Stanley Korenman, an endocrinologist at the University of California, Los Angeles believes exposure to estrogens in plastics, chemicals and foods may be to blame.

I'm no plastics engineer, but if I were making, say, plastic sippy cups, it wouldn't occur to me to throw some estrogen into the mix. And I have yet to see "estrogen" listed under the ingredients of any recipe I've used. So where are our kids getting it?

Another study found that one of the most concerning endocrine disruptors, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (or PBDEs), are found in relatively high concentration levels within our own homes and that for some reason, small children carry higher levels of it than their parents. Again, the specific cause of this circumstance is unknown, but, the most common sources of PBDEs in the home are furniture, carpet, and cleaning supplies used within the home. PBDE is a flame-retardant, that, when given to still-developing laboratory mice, disrupts thyroid and estrogen hormonal levels, causing hyperactivity among other developmental issues.

So, what can we as parents do to avoid these endocrine disruptors? Dr. Biro suggests that families live "green," eat a healthy diet, and get plenty of exercise outside. If you are expecting a child, or are currently a parent, please see
our website or come into the store to see our selection of "green" cleaning supplies, as well as safe bottles, sippy cups, food containers, plates and eating utensils. Let's keep our kids healthy, safe, and happy!

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