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Flanders is densely populated with much industry and intensive farming. Sexual maturation of adolescents (aged 14-15 years) was studied in relation to internal exposure to pollutants. Serum levels of pollutants and sex hormones were measured in 1679 participants selected as a random sample of the adolescents residing in the study areas. Data on sexual development were obtained from the medical school examination files. Self-assessment questionnaires provided information on health, use of medication and lifestyle factors. In boys, serum levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), p,p'-DDE and polychlorinated biphenyls (sum of marker PCB138, 153 and 180) were significantly and positively associated with pubertal staging (pubic hair and genital development). Higher levels of serum HCB and blood lead were associated with, respectively, a lower and a higher risk of gynecomastia. In girls, significant and negative associations were detected between blood lead and pubic hair development; higher exposure to PCBs was significantly associated with a delay in timing of menarche. Environmental exposures to pollutants at levels actually present in the Flemish population are associated with measurable effects on pubertal development. However, further understanding of toxic mode of action and sensitive windows of exposure is needed to explain the current findings.
Keywords
PB EXPOSURE, DELAYED PUBERTY, GIRLS, metals, IN-UTERO, LEAD, SERUM, AGE, endocrine disruptors, biomonitoring, POLYCHLORINATED-BIPHENYLS, PUBERTAL DEVELOPMENT, pesticides, PCBs, FEMALE RATS

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Den Hond, Elly, Willem Dhooge, Liesbeth Bruckers, Greet Schoeters, Vera Nelen, Els Van De Mieroop, Gudrun Koppen, et al. 2011. “Internal Exposure to Pollutants and Sexual Maturation in Flemish Adolescents.” Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 21 (3): 224–233.
APA
Den Hond, E., Dhooge, W., Bruckers, L., Schoeters, G., Nelen, V., Van De Mieroop, E., Koppen, G., et al. (2011). Internal exposure to pollutants and sexual maturation in Flemish adolescents. JOURNAL OF EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, 21(3), 224–233.
Vancouver
1.
Den Hond E, Dhooge W, Bruckers L, Schoeters G, Nelen V, Van De Mieroop E, et al. Internal exposure to pollutants and sexual maturation in Flemish adolescents. JOURNAL OF EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY. 2011;21(3):224–33.
MLA
Den Hond, Elly, Willem Dhooge, Liesbeth Bruckers, et al. “Internal Exposure to Pollutants and Sexual Maturation in Flemish Adolescents.” JOURNAL OF EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY 21.3 (2011): 224–233. Print.
@article{868078,
  abstract     = {Flanders is densely populated with much industry and intensive farming. Sexual maturation of adolescents (aged 14-15 years) was studied in relation to internal exposure to pollutants. Serum levels of pollutants and sex hormones were measured in 1679 participants selected as a random sample of the adolescents residing in the study areas. Data on sexual development were obtained from the medical school examination files. Self-assessment questionnaires provided information on health, use of medication and lifestyle factors. In boys, serum levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), p,p'-DDE and polychlorinated biphenyls (sum of marker PCB138, 153 and 180) were significantly and positively associated with pubertal staging (pubic hair and genital development). Higher levels of serum HCB and blood lead were associated with, respectively, a lower and a higher risk of gynecomastia. In girls, significant and negative associations were detected between blood lead and pubic hair development; higher exposure to PCBs was significantly associated with a delay in timing of menarche. Environmental exposures to pollutants at levels actually present in the Flemish population are associated with measurable effects on pubertal development. However, further understanding of toxic mode of action and sensitive windows of exposure is needed to explain the current findings.},
  author       = {Den Hond, Elly and Dhooge, Willem and Bruckers, Liesbeth and Schoeters, Greet and Nelen, Vera and Van De Mieroop, Els and Koppen, Gudrun and Bilau, Maaike and Schroijen, Carmen and Keune, Hans and Baeyens, Willy and Van Larebeke, Nicolas},
  issn         = {1559-0631},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {224--233},
  title        = {Internal exposure to pollutants and sexual maturation in Flemish adolescents},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/JES.2010.2},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2011},
}

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