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Environ Int. 2007 Nov;33(8):1012-20. Epub 2007 Jul 3.

Intake of phthalates and di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate: results of the Integrated Exposure Assessment Survey based on duplicate diet samples and biomonitoring data.

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Department of Environmental Health, Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, Veterinärstrasse 2, D-85764 Oberschleissheim, Germany.


Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental chemicals with potential detrimental health effects. The purpose of our study was to quantify dietary intake of phthalates and of DEHA (Di-ethylhexyl adipate) using duplicate diet samples and to compare these data with the calculated data based on urinary levels of primary and secondary phthalate metabolites. 27 female and 23 male healthy subjects aged 14-60 years collected daily duplicate diet samples over 7 consecutive days. Overall, 11 phthalates were measured in the duplicates by GC/MS and LC/MS methods. Urinary levels of primary and secondary phthalate metabolites are also available. The median (95th percentile) daily intake via food was 2.4 (4.0) microg/kg b.w. (Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, DEHP), 0.3 (1.4) microg/kg b.w. (Di-n-butyl phthalate, DnBP), 0.6 (2.1) microg/kg b.w. (Di-isobutyl phthalate, DiBP) and 0.7 (2.2) microg/kg b.w. for DEHA. MEPH (Mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate) was detectable only in minor concentrations in the samples, thus conversion of DEHP to MEHP and dietary intake of MEHP were negligible. When comparing back-calculated intake data of the DEHP metabolites with dietary DEHP intake from the day before significant correlations were observed for most of the metabolites. No correlation was found for DnBP and only a weak but significant correlation for DiBP. The median and 95th percentile daily dietary intake of all target analytes did not exceed the recommended tolerable daily intake. Our data indicated that food was the predominant intake source of DEHP, whilst other sources considerably contributed to the daily intake of DnBP and DiBP in an adult population.

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