Increasingly, we are reading reports of girls as young as seven or eight experiencing early breast development. It’s bound to cause feelings of confusion, embarrassment and even isolation in young children. So why is this happening, and what can you do, to prevent this from happening to your daughter?
An interesting point to note, is that although increasing numbers of girls are experiencing early breast development, most won’t start their periods until just over 12 years old, so it’s not as if they are starting puberty in the traditional sense. So what on Earth is going on?
Researchers have discovered that the hormone estradiol (oestrogen), linked to puberty was not found in the bodies of young girls who experienced this premature breast growth. This has been found to be as a result of exposure to chemicals in our environment that mimic the role of natural oestrogen in the body. This is very worrying, as it is now well understood that early breast growth is linked to a higher risk of cancer.
So here at Natural Mothers, we advise that all parents should try to avoid any contact with the chemicals currently believed to be the main culprits. But this is a tough one, as many of these oestrogen-mimics are found in products that we use every day, as well as in agricultural chemicals that are consequently found in our food and water. However, there are some simple steps we can take to minimise our exposure:
- Do not purchase polycarbonate water bottles ( Bisphenol A ( BPA). Havard students found that after using these plastic bottles for just one week, they experienced a 69% increase of the chemical BPA in their urine.
- Tins or cans are best avoided unless it is clearly marked that no BPA has been used in their manufacture. BPA is found in the lining of 92% of canned produce, which is potentially more harmful to health, as the foodstuffs are exposed to the chemical for longer before being consumed.
- Plastic cling film should be avoided unless it’s BPA free and then do not heat or microwave it-ever!
- Avoid using phthalates and parabens found in many commercial personal care products. Check the EWG’s Skin Deep Database for more information on what’s in the cosmetics you and your children are using. If you want to get really proactive, why not get involved in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Now you can shop smart and make healthier choices for you and your family.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Rebecca Watkins worked as a professional photo journalist and travelled the world with her husband John, before settling down as a stay at home mother to their three daughters. They have recently moved back from the French Alps to an old cottage in Devon, England. Rebecca’s days are filled with visits to the beach, animated discussions and in the best moments, happiness and creativity in her family home of five. The other moments are filled with craziness and chaos and she loves those too.