Prenatal exposure estimation of BPA and DEHP using integrated external and internal dosimetry: A case study
Prenatal exposure to Endocrine disruptors (EDs), such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), has been associated with obesity and diabetes diseases in childhood, as well as reproductive, behavioral and neurodevelopment problems. The aim of this study was to estimate the prenatal exposure to BPA and DEHP through food consumption for pregnant women living in Tarragona County (Spain). Probabilistic calculations of prenatal exposure were estimated by integrated external and internal dosimetry modelling, physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model, using a Monte-Carlo simulation. Physical characteristic data from the cohort, along with food intake information from the questionnaires (concentrations of BPA and DEHP in different food categories and the range of the different food ratios), were used to estimate the value of the total dietary intake for the Tarragona pregnancy cohort. The major contributors to the total dietary intake of BPA were canned fruits and vegetables, followed by canned meat and meat products. In turn, milk and dairy products, followed by ready to eat food (including canned dinners), were the most important contributors to the total dietary intake of DEHP. Despite the dietary variations among the participants, the intakes of both chemicals were considerably lower than their respective current tolerable daily intake (TDI) values established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Internal dosimetry estimates suggest that the plasma concentrations of free BPA and the most important DEHP metabolite, mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), in pregnant women were characterized by transient peaks (associated with meals) and short half-lives (< 2 h). In contrast, fetal exposure was characterized by a low and sustained basal BPA and MEHP concentration due to a lack of metabolic activity in the fetus. Therefore, EDs may have a greater effect on developing organs in young children or in the unborn child.