London, Feb 8 (UNI) Environmental toxins disrupt the normal hormonal development in young girls and lead to early onset of sexual development, new research has claimed.
Researchers said toxins such as the mycoestrogen zearalenone (ZEA) produced by the Fusarium fungus species are present in the environment and had properties similar to the female reproductive hormone estrogen.
The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, took a region of Tuscany into account to explain why the area had a much higher than average incidence of central precocious puberty (CPP). The girls of the region were tested for mycoestrogens to see if environmental toxins were a factor in their premature sexual development.
Six of the 17 girls with CPP were found to have elevated levels of ZEA. According to lead researcher Francesco Massart, ''The finding can be incidental. Other environmental factors such as herbicides and pesticides may be involved.'' The authors also noted that ZEA might also promote an accelerated growth in exposed children. However, more research was needed to study the possible negative effects of environmental pollutants on children.
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