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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2109;

Phthalate Exposure from Drinking Water in Romanian Adolescents

Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
Environmental Health Center, Strada Busuiocului 58, 400240 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
These authors denotes equivalent contribution as senior authors.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [331 KB, uploaded 25 September 2018]


Phthalates are plastic softeners that have been linked to several adverse health outcomes. The relative contributions of different sources to phthalate exposure in populations in different regions and at different life stages is unclear. We examined the relationships between water consumption, consumer product use, and phthalate exposure among 40 adolescents (20 males, 20 females) in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Interviewers administered a questionnaire about drinking water consumption and use of phthalate-containing consumer products. Four common phthalates were measured in representative samples of participants’ municipal drinking water and consumed bottled water using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Urine samples were collected from participants and analyzed for the corresponding phthalate metabolites. Relationships between different exposure measures were assessed using nonparametric tests (Spearman rank correlation coefficients and the Kruskal–Wallis test). Diisobutyl phthalate, dibutyl phthalate, and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate were commonly detected in bottled water, but generally not the municipal drinking water samples. Mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) was the most commonly detected urinary metabolite (detected in 92.5% of participants) and had the highest maximum concentration (1139.77 µg/g creatinine). We did not identify any statistically significant associations between water consumption or consumer product use practices and urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations in our adolescent group, and directions of correlation coefficients differed by individual phthalate compound. While phthalate exposure was widespread, these results highlight the challenges in examining phthalate exposure determinants and emphasize the need for further investigation into understanding exposure sources and potential health risks from chronic low-level exposures. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; biomarkers; phthalates; Romania; water exposure adolescents; biomarkers; phthalates; Romania; water exposure
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Sulentic, R.O.; Dumitrascu, I.; Deziel, N.C.; Gurzau, A.E. Phthalate Exposure from Drinking Water in Romanian Adolescents. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2109.

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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
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