A new study investigates the association between prenatal phthalate and bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and fetal metabolic dysfunction (Ashley-Martin et al. 2014). The researchers from Dalhousie University, Canada and other associated institutions analyzed data received from 2001 women taking part in the Canadian Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals Study (MIREC). Maternal urinary phthalate and BPA concentrations were measured in the first trimester of pregnancy and leptin and adiponectin levels in umbilical cord blood samples were used as marker of fetal metabolic function. BPA and adiponectin levels in male fetuses were inversely correlated. One phthalate metabolite (Mono 2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl, MCPP) increased the odds of high leptin among male fetuses. The researchers conclude that the effect of endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure may be sex specific, but consider that further investigations are required.


Ashley-Martin, J. et al. (2014). “A birth cohort study to investigate the association between prenatal phthalate and bisphenol A exposures and fetal markers of metabolic dysfunction.”  Environmental Health 13:84 (published online October 22, 2014).