A Conversation with Sandra Steingraber on the Falling Age of Puberty in US Girls

October 3, 2007
12:00 pm US Eastern Time

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This CHE Partnership Call, co-hosted with the Women's Health and Environment Initiative, was a discussion with ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber on her new report, The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know.

Girls begin their first periods today, on average, a few months earlier than did girls 40 years ago, but their breasts begin to develop one to two years earlier. Over the course of a few decades, the childhoods of US girls have been significantly shortened. What does this mean for girls today and their health in the future? The Breast Cancer Fund commissioned Sandra Steingraber to write The Falling Age of Puberty—the first comprehensive review of the literature on the timing of puberty—to help us better understand this phenomenon so we can protect our daughters’ health.

This call was moderated by Heather Sarantis, Women’s Health Program Manager for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. We heard a featured presentation from Sandra Steingraber, PhD, ecologist, author and cancer survivor. Dr. Steingraber is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. She wrote Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment and Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood. Formerly on faculty at Cornell University, Sandra Steingraber is currently Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.

Note: Later this month, the CHE Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative's Fall 2007 Teleconference Series "Priming for Prevention" that covers environmental contributors to learning and develpmental disabilities will also host a conference call that will include Sandra Steingraber as a featured presenter. Titled Consequences of Early Puberty in US Girls—Implications for Learning, the call is scheduled for Wednesday, October 31 at 11:00 AM Pacific / 2:00 PM Eastern Time.