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Changes in Urinary Phthalate Metabolite Levels Before and After the Phthalate Contamination Event and Identification of Exposure Sources in a Cohort of Taiwanese Children

1
Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
2
Taoyuan Psychiatric Center, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taoyuan 33058, Taiwan
3
Department of Pediatrics, Taipei Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taipei 11267, Taiwan
4
Institute of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 100044, Taiwan
5
Department of Health Risk Management, China Medical University, Taichung 110001, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080935
Received: 2 July 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 19 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
In 2011, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration inadvertently discovered that, for decades, manufacturers had replaced expensive natural emulsifiers in food products with diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). We wanted to compare urinary phthalate metabolite levels of children before and after the DEHP food contamination event and identify source(s) of phthalate exposure in addition to the illegal food additives. In the present study, morning urine samples were collected from a cohort of 453 children in 2010 in Taipei. After the DEHP food contamination event, there were 200 cohort children left at follow-up in 2013. The geometric means (GMs) of urinary mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (5OH-MEHP) levels before and after the event were 9.39 and 13.34 µg/g of creatinine, respectively, with no significant difference (p = 0.093). After the DEHP food contamination event, we found that urinary phthalate metabolite levels were significantly higher in people who frequently consumed microwave-heated food and used fragrance-containing products (p < 0.05). In addition, children who did not frequently wash hands before eating had significantly higher urinary phthalate metabolite levels than those who did (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that urinary phthalate metabolite levels did not decrease after the DEHP food contamination event, thus, other sources must contribute to phthalate exposure in daily life. Public awareness of approaches to reducing phthalate exposure is necessary. View Full-Text
Keywords: phthalate metabolite; DEHP; food contamination event; plastic bag phthalate metabolite; DEHP; food contamination event; plastic bag
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Huang, C.-F.; Wang, I.-J. Changes in Urinary Phthalate Metabolite Levels Before and After the Phthalate Contamination Event and Identification of Exposure Sources in a Cohort of Taiwanese Children. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 935.

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