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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Apr 2;47(7):3439-47. doi: 10.1021/es400510g. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Distribution, variability, and predictors of urinary concentrations of phenols and parabens among pregnant women in Puerto Rico.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, United States.


Puerto Rico has higher rates of a range of endocrine-related diseases and disorders compared to the United States. However, little is known to date about human exposures to known or potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in Puerto Rico. We recruited 105 pregnant women in Northern Puerto Rico who provided urine samples and questionnaire data at three times (18 ± 2, 22 ± 2, and 26 ± 2 weeks) during gestation. We measured the urinary concentrations of five phenols and three parabens: 2,4-dichlorophenol (24-DCP), 2,5-dichlorophenol (25-DCP), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), bisphenol A (BPA), triclosan (TCS), butyl paraben (B-PB), methyl paraben (M-PB), and propyl paraben (P-PB). The frequent detection of these chemicals suggests that exposure is highly prevalent among these Puerto Rican pregnant women. Urinary concentrations of TCS, BP-3, and 25-DCP were higher than among women of reproductive age in the US general population, while concentrations of BPA, 24-DCP, and parabens were similar. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) varied widely between biomarkers; BPA had the lowest ICC (0.24) and BP-3 had the highest (0.62), followed by 25-DCP (0.49) and TCS (0.47). We found positive associations between biomarker concentrations with self-reported use of liquid soap (TCS), sunscreen (BP-3), lotion (BP-3 and parabens), and cosmetics (parabens). Our results can inform future epidemiology studies and strategies to reduce exposure to these chemicals or their precursors.

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