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Allergy Asthma Proc. 2014 Nov-Dec;35(6):475-81. doi: 10.2500/aap.2014.35.3803.

The associations of triclosan and paraben exposure with allergen sensitization and wheeze in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Triclosan and parabens are chemicals used in personal care and medical products as microbicides and preservatives. Triclosan and paraben exposure may be associated with allergy (atopy), but these associations have not been evaluated with respect to other atopic states such as eczema (atopic dermatitis). This study examines the associations of urinary triclosan and paraben concentrations with allergic sensitization and asthma in children according to eczema history. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of U.S. children aged 6-18 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006). Triclosan and paraben concentrations were measured in urine. We assessed associations of triclosan and parabens with allergic sensitization and asthma using multivariable logistic regression in 837 children with complete data and stratified our results by eczema status. After covariate adjustment, triclosan and methyl and propyl paraben concentrations were positively associated with the odds of aeroallergen sensitization. Eczema did not significantly modify the association between triclosan or paraben levels and aeroallergen sensitization, asthma, or wheeze. The odds of parent-reported atopic asthma increased 34% (95% CI, 0, 81) across triclosan concentration quartiles. Increasing triclosan concentrations (quartiles) were associated with 2.3 times the odds of food sensitization (95% CI, 1.14, 4.44) among children with eczema, but not among children without eczema (OR, 1.25; 95% CI 0.93, 1.68; effect measure modification, p = 0.04). Triclosan and paraben exposures may increase the risk of atopic asthma and aeroallergen sensitization. Prospective studies are necessary to confirm these findings and determine if these chemicals pose a risk to children's health.

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