Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
ALVES, Crésio; FLORES, Lindiana Chagas; CERQUEIRA, Taís Souza and TORALLES, Maria Betânia P.. Environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors with estrogenic activity and the association with pubertal disorders in children. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, n.5, pp. 1005-1014. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007000500003.
Endocrine disruptors are exogenous substances with adverse health effects in intact organisms or their progeny, secondary to changes in endocrine function. Recent years have witnessed constant reports of environmental factors with hormone-like effects causing pubertal or reproductive abnormalities in animals. The few cases proven to be associated with pubertal disorders in humans have been related to accidental exposure. Nevertheless, pediatricians and parents recommend suspending all possible estrogen-contaminated food, especially meat (poultry, beef) and soy products, when the child presents with a pubertal disorder. These recommendations, if not scientifically sound, may have deleterious consequences by eliminating sources of dietary protein and possibly delaying the investigation of other potential and treatable causes. On the other hand, not investigating potential side effects of these products could have similar harmful effects. The current article describes the main endocrine disruptors associated with pubertal disorders in humans and concludes that except for accidental exposure to high doses, more research is needed on the effects of chronic and low-dose exposures in altering human pubertal development.
Keywords : Endocrine Disruptors; Precocious Puberty; Environmental Pollution.