Parental Concern about Environmental Chemical Exposures and Children's Urinary Concentrations of Phthalates and Phenols

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Abstract

Objectives

To examine whether parents' concerns about environmental chemical exposures were associated with urinary phthalate and phenol concentrations in their school-age children.

Study design

In a prospective cohort of 218 mother-child pairs from Cincinnati, Ohio (2010-2014), we measured 11 phthalate metabolites and 5 phenols in urine samples when children were age 8 years and used questionnaire data from caregivers. We estimated the covariate-adjusted percent difference in phthalates and phenols among children of parents who expressed concern about environmental chemical exposures compared with children whose parents did not.

Results

Concentrations of 4 phthalates, bisphenol S, and bisphenol A were lower among children whose parents expressed concern about environmental chemicals (n = 122) compared with those who did not (n = 96). Di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate metabolites, bisphenol S, and bisphenol A concentrations were 23% (95% CI −38, −5), 37% (95% CI −49, −21), and 13% (95% CI −26, 3) lower, respectively, among children whose parents expressed concern compared with those whose parents did not. Triclosan concentrations were 35% greater (95% CI −2, 87) among children whose parents expressed concern compared with children whose parents did not.

Conclusions

Parental concern about environmental chemicals was associated with lower childhood urine concentrations of several phthalates and phenols; unexpectedly, parental concern was associated with greater triclosan concentrations. These results suggest that parental concern may be an important factor in mitigating children's phthalate and phenol exposures.

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