If you’re coming to KimiaUK as a solvent supplier in the cosmetics industry, you may have already spotted this news story reported by media outlets, such as Sky News and the Telegraph, en masse, but it could well have far-reaching consequences within the industry.
A new study, published in the journal of Human Reproduction, has found that some chemicals present in cosmetics such as shampoos and perfumes ‘can cause early puberty in girls’.
The link has been discovered in the research looking into chemical levels of the likes of phthalates, parabens and phenols by observing a group of over 300 girls and boys born to Californian mothers between 1999 and 2000.
The team studied the levels in the mothers during pregnancy and again of the children at the age of nine years old. Tracking alongside the onset of puberty, a correlation became apparent between those who had been exposed to higher levels of these chemicals and early puberty, but only in females.
Dr Kim Harley, associate professor in public health at the University of California, said that two chemicals were particularly relevant – diethyl phthalate and triclosan. “Mothers who had higher levels of two chemicals in their bodies during pregnancy – diethyl phthalate, which is used in fragrance, and triclosan, which is an antibacterial agent in certain soaps and toothpaste – had daughters who entered puberty earlier,” she said.
Parabens also had a link to early on set puberty in girls, and researchers believe this may identify why puberty ages have been getting earlier and earlier in recent decades, which can have a harmful effect on development.