Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Int. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):990-1002. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.08.020. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Elevated concentrations of urinary triclocarban, phenol and paraben among pregnant women in Northern Puerto Rico: Predictors and trends.

Author information

University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States.
College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, United States.
University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health, UPR Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
College of Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, United States.
University of Michigan School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. Electronic address:



Understanding important sources and pathways of exposure to common chemicals known or suspected to impact human health is critical to eliminate or reduce the exposure. This is particularly important in areas such as Puerto Rico, where residents have higher exposures to numerous chemicals, as well as higher rates of many adverse health outcomes, compared to the mainland US.


The aim of this study was to assess distributions, time trends, and predictors of urinary triclocarban, phenol, and paraben biomarkers measured at multiple times during pregnancy among women living in Northern Puerto Rico.


We recruited 1003 pregnant women between years 2010 and 2016 from prenatal clinics and collected urine samples and questionnaire data on personal care product use at up to three separate visits, between 16 and 28 weeks gestation. Urine samples were analyzed for triclocarban, seven phenols and four parabens: 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,5-dichlorophenol, benzophenone-3, bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F, triclosan, butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.


Detectable triclocarban, phenol and paraben concentrations among pregnant women were prevalent and tended to be higher than levels measured in women of reproductive age from the general US population, especially triclocarban, which had a median concentration 37 times higher in Puerto Rico participants (2.6 vs 0.07 ng/mL). A decreasing temporal trend was statistically significant for urine concentrations of BPA during the study period, while the BPA substitute BPS showed an increasing temporal trend. Significant and positive associations were found between biomarker concentrations with the products use in the past 48-h (soap, sunscreen, lotion, cosmetics). There was an increasing trend of triclocarban/triclosan urinary concentrations with increased concentrations of triclocarban/triclosan listed as the active ingredient in the bar soap/liquid soap products reported being used.


Our results suggest several potential exposure sources to triclocarban, phenols, and parabens in this population and may help inform targeted approaches to reduce exposure.


Antimicrobials; Endocrine disruptors; Exposure assessment; Human biomonitoring; Personal care products; Pregnancy

[Available on 2019-12-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center