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Reducing phthalate, paraben, and phenol exposure from personal care products in adolescent girls: Findings from the hermosa intervention study

  • Author(s): Harley, KG
  • Kogut, K
  • Madrigal, DS
  • Cardenas, M
  • Vera, IA
  • Meza-Alfaro, G
  • She, J
  • Gavin, Q
  • Zahedi, R
  • Bradman, A
  • Eskenazi, B
  • Parra, KL
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2016, Public Health Services, US Dept of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved. Background: Personal care products are a source of exposure to potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) for adolescent girls. Methods: We enrolled 100 Latina girls in a youth-led, community-based participatory research intervention study to determine whether using personal care products whose labels stated they did not contain these chemicals for 3 days could lower urinary concentrations. Pre- and postintervention urine samples were analyzed for phthalate metabolites, parabens, triclosan, and BP-3 using high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Results: Urinary concentrations of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) decreased by 27.4% (95% CI: –39.3, –13.2) on average over the 3-day intervention; no significant changes were seen in urinary concentrations of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP). Methyl and propyl paraben concentrations decreased by 43.9% (95% CI: –61.3, –18.8) and 45.4% (95% CI: –63.7, –17.9), respectively. Unexpectedly, concentrations of ethyl and butyl paraben concentrations increased, although concentrations were low overall and not detected in almost half the samples. Triclosan concentrations decreased by 35.7% (95% CI: –53.3, –11.6), and BP-3 concentrations decreased by 36.0% (95% CI: –51.0, –16.4). Discussion: This study demonstrates that techniques available to consumers, such as choosing personal care products that are labeled to be free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and BP-3, can reduce personal exposure to possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Involving youth in the design and implementation of the study was key to recruitment, retention, compliance, and acceptability of the intervention.

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