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Urinary Phthalate Concentrations in Mothers and Their Children in Ireland: Results of the DEMOCOPHES Human Biomonitoring Study

Department of Community of Health, Health Service Executive, St. Mary’s, Naas, Kildare W91 NR29, Ireland
Department of Public Health, Health Service Executive, Galway H91973, Ireland
Public Analyst’s Laboratory, Health Service Executive, Dublin D02 P667, Ireland
Public Analyst’s Laboratory, Health Service Executive, Galway H91 Y952, Ireland
Project Manager, Health Service Executive, Palmerstown, Dublin D20 X318, Ireland
Environmental Health Service, Health Service Executive, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim N41 XC59, Ireland
Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Sustainable Health Mol B-2400, Belgium
Biomedical Department, University of Antwerp, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, Brussels 1060, Belgium
Center for Human Genetics, University of Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Carlos 111 Institute of Health, National Centre for Environmental Health, Majadahonda, Madrid 28220, Spain
German Environment Agency, Berlin 14195, Germany
Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum 44789, Germany
Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen 1353, Denmark
BiPRO GmbH, Munich 81545, Germany
Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England, Chilton OX11 ORQ, Oxfordshire OX11 ORQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Deceased 6 August 2017.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1456;
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 25 November 2017
Background: Phthalates are chemicals which are widespread in the environment. Although the impacts on health of such exposure are unclear, there is evidence of a possible impact on the incidence of a diverse range of diseases. Monitoring of human exposure to phthalates is therefore important. This study aimed to determine the extent of phthalate exposure among mothers and their children in both rural and urban areas in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated concentrations. It formed part of the ‘Demonstration of a study to Co-ordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale’ (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: the concentration of phthalate metabolites were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. The median age of the children was 8 years. A questionnaire was used to collect information regarding lifestyle and environmental conditions of the children and mothers. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Phthalate metabolites were detected in all of the samples from both children and mothers. Concentrations were significantly higher in respondents from families with lower educational attainment and in those exposed to such items as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fast food and personal care products (PCP). Conclusions: The study demonstrates that human biomonitoring for assessing exposure to phthalates can be undertaken in Ireland and that the exposure of the population is widespread. Further work will be necessary before the consequences of this exposure are understood. View Full-Text
Keywords: phthalates; human biomonitoring; exposure; endocrine disruptors phthalates; human biomonitoring; exposure; endocrine disruptors
MDPI and ACS Style

Cullen, E.; Evans, D.; Griffin, C.; Burke, P.; Mannion, R.; Burns, D.; Flanagan, A.; Kellegher, A.; Schoeters, G.; Govarts, E.; Biot, P.; Casteleyn, L.; Castaño, A.; Kolossa-Gehring, M.; Esteban, M.; Schwedler, G.; Koch, H.M.; Angerer, J.; Knudsen, L.E.; Joas, R.; Joas, A.; Dumez, B.; Sepai, O.; Exley, K.; Aerts, D. Urinary Phthalate Concentrations in Mothers and Their Children in Ireland: Results of the DEMOCOPHES Human Biomonitoring Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1456.

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