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Acculturation and endocrine disrupting chemical-associated personal care product use among US-based foreign-born Chinese women of reproductive age



Personal care products (PCPs) are an important source of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) linked to adverse reproductive health outcomes.


We evaluated EDC-associated PCP use and acculturation among Asian women.


Our study included 227 foreign-born Chinese women ages 18–45 seeking obstetrics-gynecology care at community health centers (Boston, MA). Acculturation was measured by English-language use, length of US residence, and age at US entry. Self-reported use of PCPs (crème rinse/conditioner, shampoo, perfume/cologne, bar soap/body wash, liquid hand soap, moisturizer/lotion, colored cosmetics, sunscreen, and nail polish) in the last 48 h was collected. Latent class analysis was used to identify usage patterns. We also conducted multivariable logistic to determine the cross-sectional associations of acculturation measures and the use of individual PCP types.


Those who used more PCP types, overall and by each type, tended to be more acculturated. Women who could speak English had 2.77 (95% CI: 1.10–7.76) times the odds of being high PCP users compared to their non-English speaking counterparts. English-language use was associated with higher odds of using perfume/cologne and nail polish.


Our findings give insight about EDC-associated PCP use based on acculturation status, which can contribute to changes in immigrant health and health disparities.

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Fig. 1: Black bars denote the probability of using each PCP type in the last 48 h among high PCP users (left panel) and moderate PCP users (right panel).


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We offer our special thanks to the participants and leadership of South Cove Community Health Center in Chinatown, MA and Quincy, MA.


This study was supported by grant NIH/NIEHS T32ES007069, P30ES000002, R01ES026166. This work was funded, in part, by the Intramural Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS, Z1AES103325–01).

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Correspondence to Tamarra James-Todd.

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Wang, V.A., Chu, M.T., Chie, L. et al. Acculturation and endocrine disrupting chemical-associated personal care product use among US-based foreign-born Chinese women of reproductive age. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 31, 224–232 (2021).

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  • acculturation
  • personal care products
  • cosmetics
  • endocrine disruptors
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Asian Americans

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