Current exposure of 200 pregnant Danish women to phthalates, parabens and phenols

Katrine Tefre de Renzy-Martin, Hanne Frederiksen, Jeppe Christensen, Henriette Boye Kyhl, Anna-Maria Andersson, Steffen Husby, Torben Barington, Katharina M Main, Tina Kold Jensen

102 Citationer (Scopus)


Many phthalates, parabens and phenols are suspected to have endocrine disrupting properties in humans. They are found in consumer products, including food wrapping, cosmetics and building materials. The foetus is vulnerable and exposure to these chemicals is of particular concern for pregnant women. We therefore studied current exposure to several commonly used phthalates, parabens and phenols in 200 healthy, pregnant Danish women. A total of 200 spot urine samples were collected between weeks 8-30 of pregnancy and analysed for 10 phenols, 7 parabens and 16 phthalate metabolites by LC-MS/MS. The 33 analytes represent 26 non-persistent compounds. The majority of analytes were present in urine from most women. Thus, in 174 of the 200 women, metabolites of more than 13 (>50%) of 26 compounds were detected simultaneously. The number of compounds detected per woman (either as the parent compound or its metabolite (s)) ranged from 7 to 21 with a median of 16. The majority of compounds correlated positively with each other within and between chemical groups suggesting joint exposure sources. Estimated daily intakes (DI) of phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) were below their individual tolerable daily intake (TDI) and with Hazard Quotients (HQ) below 1. In conclusion, we found detectable levels of phthalate metabolites, parabens and phenols in almost all pregnant women, suggesting combined multiple exposures. Although the individual estimated DI of phthalates and BPA was below TDI, our results still raise concern. As current toxicological risk assessments in humans do not take into account simultaneous exposure, the true cumulative risk for the foetus may be underestimated.
TidsskriftReproduction (Cambridge, England)
Sider (fra-til)443-453
StatusUdgivet - 2014


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