The chemicals can also affect fertility, heart disease, osteoporosis, as well as some cancers, metabolic syndrome and early puberty in younger women. Most endocrine-disrupting chemicals are in plastics, household items, and personal care products such as lotions, perfumes, make-up and nail polish, soap and hairspray.
Women with high levels of the chemicals in their bodies can start menopause by between two and four years earlier than a woman with low levels, say researchers from Washington University School of Medicine. They made the discovery after they analysed data from 31,757 people, including 1,442 menopausal women who had been tested for levels of the chemicals. The average age of the women was 61, and none was taking HRT or had surgery to remove ovaries.
There are 111 endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can interfere with the start of the menopause, but 15 of these-including nine PCBs, three pesticides, two phthalates and a furan, a toxic chemical-have been identified as being especially damaging.
(Source: PLOS ONE, 2015; 10(1): e0116057)