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Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Jan;119(1):50-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002316. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Selecting adequate exposure biomarkers of diisononyl and diisodecyl phthalates: data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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  • 1Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.



High-molecular-weight phthalates, such as diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), are used primarily as polyvinyl chloride plasticizers.


We assessed exposure to DINP and DIDP in a representative sample of persons ≥ 6 years of age in the U.S. general population from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).


We analyzed 2,548 urine samples by using online solid-phase extraction coupled to isotope dilution high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.


We detected monocarboxyisooctyl phthalate (MCOP), a metabolite of DINP, and monocarboxyisononyl phthalate (MCNP), a metabolite of DIDP, in 95.2% and 89.9% of the samples, respectively. We detected monoisononyl phthalate (MNP), a minor metabolite of DINP, much less frequently (12.9%) and at concentration ranges (> 0.8 µg/L-148.1 µg/L) much lower than MCOP (> 0.7 µg/L- 4,961 µg/L). Adjusted geometric mean concentrations of MCOP and MCNP were significantly higher (p < 0.01) among children than among adolescents and adults.


The general U.S. population, including children, was exposed to DINP and DIDP. In previous NHANES cycles, the occurrence of human exposure to DINP by using MNP as the sole urinary biomarker has been underestimated, thus illustrating the importance of selecting the most adequate biomarkers for exposure assessment.

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