A study on phthalate metabolites, bisphenol A and nonylphenol in the urine of Chinese women with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion

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Humans are widely exposed to phthalates, bisphenol A and nonylphenol owing to the ubiquitous use of these chemicals in consumer products. Increasing attention has been paid to exposure to phthalates, bisphenol A and nonylphenol because of their potential adverse effects on human fertility. A validated method was developed to investigate the three classes of environmental estrogen, mentioned above, in the urine of Chinese women of Nanjing area with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion. Solid-phase extraction coupled with ultra performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) was used. In this method, amounts of bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol (NP) and four phthalate metabolites, mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP), mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP), mono-benzyl phthalate (MBzP) and mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), along with their isotope labeled internal standards, were measured using UPLC-MS/MS operated in negative electrospray ionization multiple reaction monitoring mode. The limits of detection were 0.3 ng/mL for the four phthalate metabolites, and 0.5 ng/mL for bisphenol A and nonylphenol. For women with unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion, the mean concentrations of MBP, MiBP, MBzP, MEHP, BPA and 4-n-NP were 6.52±6.04, 5.51±4.19, 0.53±0.42, 10.12±4.16, 7.13±7.42, 0.41±0.49 ng/mL (mean±SD), respectively. For the control group, the mean concentrations of the corresponding analytes were 4.15±3.57, 2.96±3.30, 0.46±0.49, 6.50±2.81, 4.43±2.23,0.48±0.43 ng/mL (mean±SD), respectively. Levels of MiBP and MEHP were significantly different between the two groups, using Wilcoxon rank sum tests. This method can be applied in epidemiological studies to explore the association between exposure to environmental estrogens and relevant adverse outcomes.

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