Chemical Exposure May Cause Early Menopause

June 3, 2020

Women exposed to Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), a chemical commonly used in nonstick and waterproof products and firefighting foams, experience menopause earlier according to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Women exposed to Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), a chemical commonly used in nonstick and waterproof products and firefighting foams, experience menopause earlier according to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The data came from the the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a 17-year-long prospective cohort study. Researchers examined1,120 midlife women and found that women with high PFAS levels in their blood samples reached menopause two years earlier than those with lower levels.

Early menopause can have an impact on the heart and bone health of women say the researchers. 

“Even menopause a few years earlier than usual could have a significant impact on cardiovascular and bone health, quality of life, and overall health in general among women,” said corresponding author Sung Kyun Park, Sc.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

The authors say this is a problem for human health because these chemicals persist in the environment and build up in the body, ultimately interfering with hormone regulation explains the study’s lead author Ning Ding, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Because of their persistence in humans and potentially detrimental effects on ovarian function, it is important to raise awareness of this issue and reduce exposure to these chemicals.”

Associations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances with Incident Natural Menopause: The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.  Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.