Lead author Sarah Knox of the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, W.Va., and colleagues says PFCs are man-made chemicals -- used for water- and stain-repellants -- in a variety of household products including food containers, clothing, furniture, carpets and paints. Their broad used has resulted in widespread dissemination in water, air, soil, plant life, animals and humans, Knox says.
The study involved 25,957 women ages 18-65 who were tested for PFCs and estradiol -- the predominant sex hormone in females. The researchers also determined menopausal status of the study participants.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found there was an association between PFC exposure, decreased estradiol and early menopause in women age 42 and older.
"Our data shows that after controlling for age, women of perimenopausal and menopausal age in this large population are more likely to have experienced menopause if they have higher serum concentrations of PFCs than their counterparts with lower levels," Knox says in a statement.