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Personal care product use and urinary phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations during pregnancy among women from a fertility clinic

Abstract

Parabens and phthalates are potential endocrine disruptors frequently used in personal care/beauty products, and the developing fetus may be sensitive to these chemicals. We measured urinary butyl-paraben (BP), methyl-paraben, propyl-paraben, mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), and monoethyl phthalate (MEP) concentrations up to three times in 177 pregnant women from a fertility clinic in Boston, MA. Using linear mixed models, we examined the relationship between self-reported personal care product use in the previous 24 h and urinary paraben and phthalate metabolite concentrations. Lotion, cosmetic, and cologne/perfume use were associated with the greatest increases in the molar sum of phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations, although the magnitude of individual biomarker increases varied by product used. For example, women who used lotion had BP concentrations 111% higher (95% confidence interval (CI): 41%, 216%) than non-users, whereas their MBP concentrations were only 28% higher (CI: 2%, 62%). Women using cologne/perfume had MEP concentrations 167% (CI: 98%, 261%) higher than non-users, but BP concentrations were similar. We observed a monotonic dose–response relationship between the total number of products used and urinary paraben and phthalate metabolite concentrations. These results suggest that questionnaire data may be useful for assessing exposure to a mixture of chemicals from personal care products during pregnancy.

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Abbreviations

BMI:

body mass index

BP:

butyl-paraben

CDC:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CI:

confidence interval

DBP:

dibutyl phthalate

DEP:

diethyl phthalate

EDC:

endocrine-disrupting compound

MBP:

mono-n-butyl phthalate

MEP:

monoethyl phthalate

MP:

methyl-paraben

PP:

propyl-paraben

SG:

specific gravity

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the technical assistance of M. Silva, E. Samandar, J. Preau, X. Ye, X. Zhou, R. Hennings, and J. Tao (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) in measuring the urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and parabens. This work was funded by NIEHS grants T32 ES007069, R01 ES009718, P30 ES000002, and R00 ES020346.

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Correspondence to Joe M Braun.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the CDC.

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Braun, J., Just, A., Williams, P. et al. Personal care product use and urinary phthalate metabolite and paraben concentrations during pregnancy among women from a fertility clinic. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 24, 459–466 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2013.69

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2013.69

Keywords

  • endocrine disruptors
  • epidemiology
  • mixtures
  • parabens
  • phthalates

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