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Recent use of consumer and personal care products and exposures to select endocrine disrupting chemicals among urban children with asthma

Abstract

Background

Emerging studies suggest that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in personal care and other consumer products are linked with various adverse health effects, including respiratory and reproductive effects. Despite Black persons using more personal care products than other demographic groups and having a high asthma burden, little is known regarding their consumer product use patterns and associated EDC exposures.

Objective

To examine the association between recent exposure to select EDCs with specific consumer products and behaviors in a cohort of 110 predominantly Black children with asthma, ages 8–17 years, living in Baltimore City, Maryland.

Methods

We quantified concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F, two dichlorophenols, four parabens, triclosan, benzophenone-3, and triclocarban in spot urine samples. Questionnaires were used to capture recent (last 24-h) consumer product use and behaviors. Associations between EDCs and consumer product uses/behaviors were assessed using multivariable linear regression, adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and caregiver income level. Effect estimates were expressed as geometric mean ratios of biomarker concentrations of product-users vs non-users.

Results

Increased concentrations to select EDCs were associated with recent use of air freshener (ratios; BPA: 1.9, 95%CI 1.4–2; BPS 1.7, 95%CI 1–2.97; propyl paraben: 3.0, 95%CI 1.6–5.6), scented candles (methyl paraben: 2.6, 95%CI 1.1–6.1), and scented carpet powder (2,5-dichlorophenol: 2.8, 95%CI 1.2–6.3). Additionally, consuming canned food was associated with some increased biomarker concentrations (ratios: BPA: 1.7, 95%CI 1.2–2.4; BPS: 2.1, 95% CI: 1.2–3.6).

Significance

These findings add to the body of evidence suggesting that recent use of select consumer products in Black children contributes to exposure of chemicals of concern and could potentially inform exposure mitigation interventions. Findings have broad potential health implications for pediatric populations and Black children who may face exposure and health disparities.

Impact

  • Little is known about how children’s personal care product use and consumer behaviors affect their exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This is particularly true for Black children who often experience a disparate exposure burden to many EDCs. This is a significant knowledge gap among children that are uniquely vulnerable to EDCs as they undergo critical windows of growth and development. Our findings show associations between consumer products and EDC exposures in predominantly Black children in low-income settings. Identifying EDC exposure determinants has broad health implications as many of these chemicals have been associated with adverse health risks.

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Fig. 1: Associations between biomarker concentrations and select individual consumer product use/behaviors in the prior 24-h (n = 110).
Fig. 2: Associations between methyl paraben, propyl paraben and benzophenone-3 concentrations and select individual consumer product use/behaviors in the prior 24-h (n = 110).
Fig. 3: Associations between biomarker concentrations and multiple select consumer product use/behaviors in the prior 24-h (n = 110).

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due to participant confidentiality but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge all the funders, the staff and study participants who made this study possible.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P50ES018176 and under award numbers P2CES033415, U2CES026553; L.Q.A. and M.F. were supported by a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Career Development Award (K01HL138124).

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Magdalena Fandiño-Del-Rio: writing - original draft, visualization, formal analysis, data curation; Elizabeth C. Matsui: conceptualization, methodology, supervision, funding acquisition, writing - review & editing; Antonia M. Calafat: investigation, resources, data curation, writing - review & editing; Rachelle Koehl: investigation, supervision, data curation, writing - review & editing; Julianne Cook Botelho: investigation, writing - review & editing; Han Woo: investigation, supervision, data curation, writing - review & editing; Meleah Boyle: investigation, writing - review & editing; Nadia N. Hansel: conceptualization, investigation, supervision, writing - review & editing; Meredith McCormack: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, supervision, project administration, funding acquisition, writing - review & editing; Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá: conceptualization, methodology, investigation, supervision, project administration, funding acquisition, writing - review & editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lesliam Quirós-Alcalá.

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All study protocols were approved by the Johns Hopkins University Institutional Review Board and written informed consent and assent was obtained from parents and participating children, respectively, prior to any data and sample collection. The analysis of de-identified specimens at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory was determined not to constitute engagement in human subjects research by CDC.

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Fandiño-Del-Rio, M., Matsui, E.C., Calafat, A.M. et al. Recent use of consumer and personal care products and exposures to select endocrine disrupting chemicals among urban children with asthma. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-024-00693-8

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