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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3156-3168; doi:10.3390/ijerph110303156
Article

Toxicity and Estrogenic Endocrine Disrupting Activity of Phthalates and Their Mixtures

1,* , 2
, 1
, 1
, 2
, 3
, 3
 and 3
1 Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Limited, Unit 516, 5/F. Biotech Centre 2, No. 11 Science Park West Avenue, Hong Kong Science Park, Shatin, Hong Kong 2 State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong 3 School of Science and Technology, Open University of Hong Kong, 30 Good Shepherd Street, Homantin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
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Abstract

Phthalates, widely used in flexible plastics and consumer products, have become ubiquitous contaminants worldwide. This study evaluated the acute toxicity and estrogenic endocrine disrupting activity of butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP) and their mixtures. Using a 72 h zebrafish embryo toxicity test, the LC50 values of BBP, DBP and a mixture of the six phthalates were found to be 0.72, 0.63 and 0.50 ppm, respectively. The other four phthalates did not cause more than 50% exposed embryo mortality even at their highest soluble concentrations. The typical toxicity symptoms caused by phthalates were death, tail curvature, necrosis, cardio edema and no touch response. Using an estrogen-responsive ChgH-EGFP transgenic medaka (Oryzias melastigma) eleutheroembryos based 24 h test, BBP demonstrated estrogenic activity, DBP, DEHP, DINP and the mixture of the six phthalates exhibited enhanced-estrogenic activity and DIDP and DNOP showed no enhanced- or anti-estrogenic activity. These findings highlighted the developmental toxicity of BBP and DBP, and the estrogenic endocrine disrupting activity of BBP, DBP, DEHP and DINP on intact organisms, indicating that the widespread use of these phthalates may cause potential health risks to human beings.
Keywords: phthalate; toxicity; estrogenic endocrine disruptor; estrogenic activity; enhanced-estrogenic activity; mixture effects phthalate; toxicity; estrogenic endocrine disruptor; estrogenic activity; enhanced-estrogenic activity; mixture effects
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, X.; Xu, S.; Tan, T.; Lee, S.T.; Cheng, S.H.; Lee, F.W.F.; Xu, S.J.L.; Ho, K.C. Toxicity and Estrogenic Endocrine Disrupting Activity of Phthalates and Their Mixtures. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 3156-3168.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert