Urinary triclosan concentrations during pregnancy and birth outcomes

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Abstract

Background:

Triclosan is an antimicrobial chemical used in consumer products, and exposure is ubiquitous among pregnant women in the United States. Triclosan may reduce the levels of thyroid hormones that are important for fetal growth and development.

Objective:

We investigated the relationship of prenatal triclosan exposure with birth anthropometry and gestational duration.

Methods:

We used data from 378 mother-child pairs participating in the Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment (HOME) Study, a prospective pregnancy and birth cohort from Cincinnati, OH. We measured triclosan concentrations in maternal urine samples collected at 16 and 26 weeks of pregnancy. We abstracted information on neonatal anthropometry and gestational duration from medical records. We used multivariable linear regression to estimate the covariate-adjusted association between the average of the two urinary triclosan concentrations and gestational age standardized weight z-score, length, head circumference, and gestational age at birth.

Results:

Median urinary triclosan concentrations were 16 ng/mL (range: <2.4 to 1501 ng/mL). Each 10-fold increase in triclosan was associated with a predicted 0.15 standard deviation decrease (95% CI: −0.30, 0.00) in birth weight z-score, 0.4-cm decrease (95% CI: −0.8, 0.1) in birth length, 0.3-cm decrease (95% CI: −0.5, 0.0) in head circumference, and 0.3-week decrease (95% CI: −0.6, −0.1) in gestational age. Child sex did not modify the associations between triclosan and birth outcomes.

Conclusions:

In this cohort, maternal urinary triclosan concentrations during pregnancy were inversely associated with infants’ birth weight, length, head circumference, and gestational age.

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