Delayed Puberty

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Researchers studying the effects of a chemical used ot make non-stick coatings say there could be a link between it and delayed puberty in girls.

The study released Thursday actually covered two chemicals, PFOA, also known as C8, and pfos, which is not manufactured or used by DuPont. There was an indication that both chemicals delayed puberty in young girls.

"For girls, apparently, an effect from both chemicals, of about four months delay, from PFOS or PFOA," says Dr. Tony Fletcher, a member of the C8 Science Panel. "For boys, a slightly longer delay of six months associated with higher association with PFOS."

These are the first study findings released which involved adolescent changes in children. Much of the findings so far involved pregnancy or effects on the general population.

"There is some suggestion form the toxicological experimental research that's been done," Dr. Fletcher says, "that PFOA can interact with a wide number of different systems, including the hormonal system that controls development and age of puberty."

But Dr. Fletcher emphasized, as panel members have in previous findings, that more study is needed...that these are not final, or definite, studies.

"But he also cautioned that there is a statistical association," says DuPont Spokeswoman Robin Ollis-Stemple. "The way the study was designed, it was not designed to provide a cause and effect relationship announcement."

Close to 6,000 people, divided between young boys and girls, were interviewed in the study. The panel says all had reached puberty by the time they were interviewed.

And we have more on these latest findings on the "Hot Button" on our home page.

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