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Human Elimination of Phthalate Compounds: Blood, Urine, and Sweat (BUS) Study

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      Abstract

      Background. Individual members of the phthalate family of chemical compounds are components of innumerable everyday consumer products, resulting in a high exposure scenario for some individuals and population groups. Multiple epidemiological studies have demonstrated statistically significant exposure-disease relationships involving phthalates and toxicological studies have shown estrogenic effects in vitro. Data is lacking in the medical literature, however, on effective means to facilitate phthalate excretion. Methods. Blood, urine, and sweat were collected from 20 individuals (10 healthy participants and 10 participants with assorted health problems) and analyzed for parent phthalate compounds as well as phthalate metabolites using high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Results. Some parent phthalates as well as their metabolites were excreted into sweat. All patients had MEHP (mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) in their blood, sweat, and urine samples, suggesting widespread phthalate exposure. In several individuals, DEHP (di (2-ethylhexl) phthalate) was found in sweat but not in serum, suggesting the possibility of phthalate retention and bioaccumulation. On average, MEHP concentration in sweat was more than twice as high as urine levels. Conclusions. Induced perspiration may be useful to facilitate elimination of some potentially toxic phthalate compounds including DEHP and MEHP. Sweat analysis may be helpful in establishing the existence of accrued DEHP in the human body.

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      Decrease in Anogenital Distance among Male Infants with Prenatal Phthalate Exposure

      Prenatal phthalate exposure impairs testicular function and shortens anogenital distance (AGD) in male rodents. We present data from the first study to examine AGD and other genital measurements in relation to prenatal phthalate exposure in humans. A standardized measure of AGD was obtained in 134 boys 2–36 months of age. AGD was significantly correlated with penile volume (R = 0.27, p = 0.001) and the proportion of boys with incomplete testicular descent (R = 0.20, p = 0.02). We defined the anogenital index (AGI) as AGD divided by weight at examination [AGI = AGD/weight (mm/kg)] and calculated the age-adjusted AGI by regression analysis. We examined nine phthalate monoester metabolites, measured in prenatal urine samples, as predictors of age-adjusted AGI in regression and categorical analyses that included all participants with prenatal urine samples (n = 85). Urinary concentrations of four phthalate metabolites [monoethyl phthalate (MEP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP), and monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP)] were inversely related to AGI. After adjusting for age at examination, p-values for regression coefficients ranged from 0.007 to 0.097. Comparing boys with prenatal MBP concentration in the highest quartile with those in the lowest quartile, the odds ratio for a shorter than expected AGI was 10.2 (95% confidence interval, 2.5 to 42.2). The corresponding odds ratios for MEP, MBzP, and MiBP were 4.7, 3.8, and 9.1, respectively (all p-values < 0.05). We defined a summary phthalate score to quantify joint exposure to these four phthalate metabolites. The age-adjusted AGI decreased significantly with increasing phthalate score (p-value for slope = 0.009). The associations between male genital development and phthalate exposure seen here are consistent with the phthalate-related syndrome of incomplete virilization that has been reported in prenatally exposed rodents. The median concentrations of phthalate metabolites that are associated with short AGI and incomplete testicular descent are below those found in one-quarter of the female population of the United States, based on a nationwide sample. These data support the hypothesis that prenatal phthalate exposure at environmental levels can adversely affect male reproductive development in humans.
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        Urinary levels of seven phthalate metabolites in the U.S. population from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2000.

        We measured the urinary monoester metabolites of seven commonly used phthalates in approximately 2,540 samples collected from participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2000, who were greater than or equal to 6 years of age. We found detectable levels of metabolites monoethyl phthalate (MEP), monobutyl phthalate (MBP), monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP), and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP) in > 75% of the samples, suggesting widespread exposure in the United States to diethyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate or diisobutylphthalate, benzylbutyl phthalate, and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, respectively. We infrequently detected monoisononyl phthalate, mono-cyclohexyl phthalate, and mono-n-octyl phthalate, suggesting that human exposures to di-isononyl phthalate, dioctylphthalate, and dicyclohexyl phthalate, respectively, are lower than those listed above, or the pathways, routes of exposure, or pharmacokinetic factors such as absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination are different. Non-Hispanic blacks had significantly higher concentrations of MEP than did Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Compared with adolescents and adults, children had significantly higher levels of MBP, MBzP, and MEHP but had significantly lower concentrations of MEP. Females had significantly higher concentrations of MEP and MBzP than did males, but similar MEHP levels. Of particular interest, females of all ages had significantly higher concentrations of the reproductive toxicant MBP than did males of all ages; however, women of reproductive age (i.e., 20-39 years of age) had concentrations similar to adolescent girls and women 40 years of age. These population data on exposure to phthalates will serve an important role in public health by helping to set research priorities and by establishing a nationally representative baseline of exposure with which population levels can be compared.
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          Phthalates, alkylphenols, pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and other endocrine-disrupting compounds in indoor air and dust.

          Chemicals identified as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) have widespread consumer uses, yet little is known about indoor exposure. We sampled indoor air and dust in 120 homes, analyzing for 89 organic chemicals identified as EDCs. Fifty-two compounds were detected in air and 66 were detected in dust. These are the first reported measures in residential environments for over 30 of the compounds, including several detected at the highest concentrations. The number of compounds detected per home ranged from 13 to 28 in air and from 6 to 42 in dust. The most abundant compounds in air included phthalates (plasticizers, emulsifiers), o-phenylphenol (disinfectant), 4-nonylphenol (detergent metabolite), and 4-tert-butylphenol (adhesive) with typical concentrations in the range of 50-1500 ng/m3. The penta- and tetrabrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants) were frequently detected in dust, and 2,3-dibromo-1-propanol, the carcinogenic intermediate of a flame retardant banned in 1977, was detected in air and dust. Twenty-three pesticides were detected in air and 27 were detected in dust, the most abundant being permethrins and the synergist piperonyl butoxide. The banned pesticides heptachlor, chlordane, methoxychlor, and DDT were also frequently detected, suggesting limited indoor degradation. Detected concentrations exceeded government health-based guidelines for 15 compounds, but no guidelines are available for 28 compounds, and existing guidelines do not consider endocrine effects. This study provides a basis for prioritizing toxicology and exposure research for individual EDCs and mixtures and provides new tools for exposure assessment in health studies.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, 2935-66 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6K 4C1
            2Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2B7
            3Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2C8
            4Environmental Division, A.L.S. Laboratory Group, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6E 5C1
            Author notes
            *Stephen J. Genuis: sgenuis@ 123456ualberta.ca

            Academic Editors: A. Basu, W. Gelderblom, J. B. T. Rocha, and E. Shibata

            Journal
            ScientificWorldJournal
            ScientificWorldJournal
            TSWJ
            The Scientific World Journal
            The Scientific World Journal
            1537-744X
            2012
            31 October 2012
            : 2012
            23213291
            3504417
            10.1100/2012/615068
            Copyright © 2012 Stephen J. Genuis et al.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Clinical Study

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