Exposure of children to phthalates and the impact of consumer practices in Slovakia.
Rev Environ Health. 2017 Mar 1 ;32(1-2):211-214. PMID: 28231065
Phthalates are environmental pollutants that can enter the human body by ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption. Food constitutes the most important source of human exposure to these chemicals. The aim of our study was the biological monitoring of exposure to eight phthalate metabolites in children (n=107), 10-12 years of age, living in eastern Slovakia. Additionally, we analysed some associations between anthropometric measures, questionnaire data (i.e. eating and drinking habits, practice of personal care products) and concentrations of phthalate metabolites. Because of the short half-life of phthalates, within 24-48 h, we used 24-h recalls to assess dietary intakes. We used high-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry for the analysis of spot urine samples to determine concentrations of phthalate metabolites mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP), mono-n-butyl phthalate, mono-iso-butyl phthalate, mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP), mono (2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (5OH-MEHP), mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (5oxo-MEHP), mono-carboxy pentyl and mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP). We found statistically significant association between consumer practices and concentration of some phthalate metabolites, concretely consumption of milk and dairy products with MBzP and margarine with MEP (p<0.01 in both cases) and margarine with 5oxo-MEHP, hot beverages with 5OH-MEHP, baguettes and semifinished products with MEP (p<0.05 in all cases). Further, we found relationship between use of cosmetic products and phthalate concentrations, nail polish application and MEP and use of body lotion and MEHP (p<0.05 in both cases). We concluded that consumer practices (including eating and drinking habits and personal care) represent the substantial source of phthalate exposure in Slovak children.