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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 22;7:45009. doi: 10.1038/srep45009.

Estimated Daily Intake and Cumulative Risk Assessment of Phthalates in the General Taiwanese after the 2011 DEHP Food Scandal.

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Research Center for Environmental Trace Toxic Substances, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Division of Preventive Medicine and Health Service Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan.
National Environmental Health Research Center, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan.
School of Public Health, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan.
Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National United University, Miaoli, Taiwan.


A food scandal occurred in Taiwan in 2011 because the DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate) had been intentionally used in food products. We assessed the daily intakes (DIs) and cumulative risk of phthalates in Taiwan's general population after the scandal. The DIs of 6 phthalates, including di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), di-iso-butyl phthalate (DiBP), and DEHP, were evaluated using urinary phthalate metabolites. Hazard quotients of phthalates classified as affecting the reproductive (HQrep) and hepatic (HQhep) systems were assessed using cumulative approach. The creatinine-based model showed that the highest DI values in children 7-to 12- years-old were for DEHP (males: median: 4.79 μg/kg bw/d; females: median: 2.62 μg/kg bw/d). The 95th percentile (P95) of HQrep values were all >1 in the 7- to 12-year-old and 18- to 40-year-old male groups. The P95 of HQhep values were all >1 in the 7- to 18- year-old male groups. Most of the HQrep was attributable to the HQs of DnBP and DiBP (53.9-84.7%), and DEHP contributed most to HQhep (83.1-98.6%), which reveals that DnBP, DiBP and DEHP were the main risk of phthalate exposure for Taiwanese. Taiwan's general population is widely exposed to DnBP, DiBP and DEHP, especially for young children.

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