Thinning Bones In Teens? Check Out Their Chemical Exposure
. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals used in nonstick cookware, clothing, and food packaging, and are increasingly being found in U.S. water supplies. Phthalates are used in personal care products, food processing, and children’s toys.
“Adolescence is an important time when our bodies build up the bone. Almost all U.S. children and adolescents are exposed to PFAS and phthalates, but few studies have looked at how these chemicals could be impacting our bone health,” said Abby F. Fleisch, M.D., M.P.H., of the Maine Medical Center Research Institute and Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
Researchers leveraged urine and blood samples from 453 boys and 395 girls from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and found higher levels of PFAS and phthalates may be associated with lower bone mineral density in adolescent males. The researchers did not find the same effect in girls.
While many unalterable factors affect bone density (such as genetic disposition), many other factors that add to or subtract from bone strength are within an individual’s control. This finding shows that limiting exposure to endocrine-disrupting hormones might prevent bone loss in men.
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