The effects of maternal and children phthalate exposure on the neurocognitive function of 6-year-old children
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of phthalate exposure on the intelligence and attentional performance of 6-year old children when adjusting each other as covariates. We also investigated the differential effects of phthalate exposure on the intelligence and attention according to exposure period (maternal or children). Urine concentrations of mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), and mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) were analyzed. Multivariable linear regression models were used to investigate the relationship between exposure to various phthalates with IQ scores and continuous performance test (CPT) variables. There were robust associations between child MEHHP and MEOHP levels with full scale IQ (FSIQ) even after adjusting for demographic variables and CPT scores (MEHHP −9.27, 95% CI: −17.25, −1.29; MEOHP −9.83, 95% CI: −17.44, −2.21). Child MEHHP and MEHOP levels negatively affected omission errors (MEHHP −20.36, 95% CI: −34.17, −6.55; MEOHP −18.93, 95% CI: −32.58, −5.28) and the response time variability (MEHHP −21.07, 95% CI: −39.04, −3.10; MEOHP −20.41, 95% CI −38.14, −2.69) of the CPT after adjusting for demographic variables and IQ. Maternal phthalate exposure had no effects on IQ or CPT variables. These results suggest that children phthalate exposure, but not maternal exposure, has an adverse effect on IQ and attentional performance, and these associations were found to be independent of each other.