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Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Jun;114(6):805-9.

Estimated daily phthalate exposures in a population of mothers of male infants exhibiting reduced anogenital distance.

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Joint Medical Program, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.

Erratum in

  • Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Feb;115(2):A73.


Phthalate diesters have been shown to be developmental and reproductive toxicants in animal studies. A recent epidemiologic study showed certain phthalates to be significantly associated with reduced anogenital distance in human male infants, the first evidence of subtle developmental effects in human male infants exposed prenatally to phthalates. We used two previously published methods to estimate the daily phthalate exposures for the four phthalates whose urinary metabolites were statistically significantly associated with developmental effects in the 214 mother-infant pairs [di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) , diethyl phthalate (DEP) , butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) , diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP) ] and for another important phthalate [di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) ]. We estimated the median and 95th percentile of daily exposures to DBP to be 0.99 and 2.68 microg/kg/day, respectively ; for DEP, 6.64 and 112.3 microg/kg/day ; for BBzP, 0.50 and 2.47 microg/kg/day ; and for DEHP, 1.32 and 9.32 microg/kg/day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reference doses for these chemicals are 100 (DBP) , 800 (DEP) , 200 (BBzP) , and 20 (DEHP) microg/kg/day. The median and 95th percentile exposure estimates for the phthalates associated with reduced anogenital distance in the study population are substantially lower than current U.S. EPA reference doses for these chemicals and could be informative to any updates of the hazard assessments and risk assessments for these chemicals.

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