The chemicals found in shampoos, perfumes, deodorants and soaps may be causing girls to develop at too young an age.
This was found in a study published by the journal Human Reproduction, which examined the level of chemicals such as parabens, phenols and phthalates.
Researchers studied 179 girls and 159 boys born between 1999 and 2000 in California. In their study, the researchers analysed the level of chemicals present in the children’s mothers during their pregnancies and in the children once they reached the age of nine.
Two chemicals, in particular, were traced, which in some way affected the development of the girls, however in no way affected the boys’ development. The mothers who during their pregnancies had levels of the chemicals diethyl and phthalate gave birth to girls who ended up reaching puberty at a very young age.
The research also found that the girls who had higher levels than usual of parabens also developed very early.
Dr Harley, who led the research, said that the study can shed light on why girls have been developing much faster than boys over the least few years. According to Dr Harley, girls who pass through puberty too young may eventually develop problems with their mental health and it also increases their risk of breast and uterine cancer.