Endocrine disrupters and pubertal timing

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology; Lee Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Endocrine System | Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism | Environmental Public Health | Medical Toxicology | Pediatrics | Reproductive and Urinary Physiology


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The current review summarizes recent epidemiologic data demonstrating the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on the timing of puberty and highlights the complexity of understanding the interplay of environmental and genetic factors on pubertal timing.

RECENT FINDINGS: In girls, there have been mixed results, with some exposures being associated with earlier timing of puberty, and some with later puberty. In boys, prepubertal exposures to nondioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls accelerate puberty, whereas levels of insecticides, dioxin-like compounds, organochlorine pesticides, and lead delay puberty.

SUMMARY: The effects of EDCs on pubertal timing are sexually dimorphic, compound specific, and varies according to the window of exposure. These studies confirm that low-level exposures to a mix of environmental compounds may mask the effects of individual compounds and complicate our ability to translate data from animal studies to human health and to fully understand the clinical implications of environmental epidemiology studies.


breast development, dioxins, endocrine disrupting compounds, genital staging, menarche, pesticides, puberty, sexual maturation

DOI of Published Version



Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2018 Feb;25(1):49-54. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000377. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID