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Precocious puberty in Korean girls with and without exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in toy slime: a comparative analysis

  • Lee, Mi Seon1
  • Lee, Gi Min1
  • Ko, Cheol Woo1
  • Moon, Jung Eun1, 2
  • 1 Kyungpook National University, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea , Daegu (South Korea)
  • 2 Kyungpook National University Children’s Hospital, 807, Hoguk-ro, Buk-gu, Daegu, 41404, Republic of Korea , Daegu (South Korea)
Published Article
BMC Endocrine Disorders
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Sep 18, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12902-021-00855-x
Springer Nature
  • Research


BackgroundToy slime is popular in Korea, and in parallel, pre-pubertal girls visit hospitals for early pubertal signs. Thus far, numerous studies have investigated the association of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with precocious puberty (PP). However, there is a lack of studies on the clinical manifestations and sex hormones. We aimed to investigate early pubertal development in Korean girls with or without a history of toy slime exposure and determine changes in bone age, Tanner stage, and sex hormones.MethodsIn this study, 140 girls underwent stimulation tests at Kyungpook National University Children’s Hospital Endocrinology Department, during January 2018 and December 2020. Patients were divided into two groups for gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulation test and frequency of exposure to toy slime (EDCs). GnRH stimulation test was conducted after an intravenous injection of 100 µg of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. Slime exposure was defined as Slime ≥ 3 times/week for ≥ 3 months.ResultsHistory of slime exposure was found in 14 of 58 and 65 of 82 patients in the central PP (CPP) and non-CPP groups, respectively. Slime-exposed patients had advanced bone age, although their Tanner stage was low. Patients with a history of toy slime exposure were 5.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with non-CPP than patients without slime exposure (p < 0.05).ConclusionsExposure to toy slime in prepubertal girls may be associated with rapid clinical advancement of pubertal development and bone age, and the patients appear more likely to be diagnosed with non-CPP.

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