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Presence of benzophenones commonly used as UV filters and absorbers in paired maternal and fetal samples

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BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated widespread exposure of humans to certain benzophenones commonly used as UV filters or UV absorbers; some of which have been demonstrated to have endocrine disrupting abilities.

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether benzophenones present in pregnant women pass through the placental barrier to amniotic fluid and further to the fetal blood circulation.

METHODS: A prospective study of 200 pregnant women with simultaneously collected paired samples of amniotic fluid and maternal serum and urine. In addition, unique samples of human fetal blood (n=4) obtained during cordocentesis: and cord blood (n=23) obtained at delivery, both with paired maternal samples of serum and urine collected simultaneously, were used. All biological samples were analyzed by TurboFlow-liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry for seven different benzophenones.

RESULTS: Benzophenone-1 (BP-1), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), 4-methyl-benzophenone (4-MBP), and 4-hydroxy-benzophenone (4-HBP) were all detectable in amniotic fluid and cord blood samples and except 4-HBP also in fetal blood; albeit at a low frequency. BP-1 and BP-3 were measured at ~10-times lower concentrations in fetal and cord blood compared to maternal serum and 1000-times lower concentration compared to maternal urine levels. Therefore BP-1 and BP-3 were only detectable in the fetal circulation in cases of high maternal exposure indicating some protection by the placental barrier. 4-MBP seems to pass into fetal and cord blood more freely with a median 1:3 ratio between cord blood and maternal serum levels. Only for BP-3, which the women seemed to be most exposed to, did the measured concentrations in maternal urine and serum correlate to concentrations measured in amniotic fluid. Thus, for BP-3, but not for the other tested benzophenones, maternal urinary levels seem to be a valid proxy for fetal exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: Detectable levels of several of the investigated benzophenones in human amniotic fluid as well as in fetal and cord blood calls for further investigations of the toxicokinetic and potential endocrine disrupting properties of these compounds in order for better assessment of the risk to the developing fetus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental International
Volume110
Pages (from-to)51-60
ISSN0160-4120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 51981834