In an article published on February 18, 2016 by the news provider Chemical Watch, editor Philip Lightowlers reports on a new study testing children’s urine for various endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders and conducted by Erin S. Ihde and colleagues from the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® (DIEHC) at Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey, U.S.. The researchers tested the urine of 50 children (25 male, 25 female) between the ages of four and eight for bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), triclosan (TCS, CAS 3380-34-5), 4-nonylphenol (4NP, CAS 104-40-5), mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP, CAS, 40321-99-1), mono(2-ethyl-hexyl) phthalate (MEHP, CAS 4376-20-9), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP, CAS 40321-98-0), monoethyl phthalate (MEtP, CAS 2306-33-4), butylparaben (CAS 94-26-8), ethylparaben (CAS 120-47-8), methylparaben (CAS 99-76-3), and propylparaben (CAS 94-13-3). MEHHP, MEHP, MEOHP and MEtP are metabolites of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7).
All children’s urine showed detectable levels of at least five of these chemicals. 74% of children had detectable levels of eight or more chemicals in their urine. Measurable levels of 4NP were found in the urine of 28% of children. The authors report that their work is the first known published study of 4NP levels in American children and urge for more research on the presence and impacts of this chemical. Overall, the researchers found no association between the urine levels of chemicals and estrogen metabolites. However, the presence of multiple chemicals in the majority of children’s urine is of great concern, the authors state. They call for further research on the potential role of EDCs in pediatric hormonal disorders such as precocious puberty and endocrine-dependent cancers.
Chemical Watch (February 18, 2016). “Endocrine disruptor 4NP found in children’s urine.”
Ihde, E.S. et al. (2015). “Association of environmental chemicals & estrogen metabolites in children.” BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders 15:83 (open access).