On July 21, 2015 the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a study on the effects of prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and phthalates on fetal growth. Maribel Casas and colleagues, from different research institutes and universities in Spain, tested the urine of 488 mothers during the first and third trimester of pregnancy for BPA and eight phthalate metabolites. The researchers also recorded the fetal parameters femur length, head circumference, abdominal circumference, biparietal diameter, and estimated fetal weight from ultrasound examinations conducted at 12, 20 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. After delivery, birth weight, birth length, head circumference, as well as placenta weight were measured. The researchers did not find a correlation between exposure to BPA or metabolites of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) during pregnancy and fetal growth parameters. Prenatal exposure to monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP, CAS 2528-16-7) was positively correlated with femur length at 20-34 weeks of pregnancy. MBzP was also positively correlated with birth weight among boys, but not among girls. Exposure to mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP, CAS 131-70-4) was negatively correlated with head circumference at 12-20 weeks of pregnancy. The researchers conclude that their results provide little evidence of associations of BPA and phthalate exposure with fetal growth. The correlations found for phthalate metabolites MBzP and MnBP require confirmation, the researchers state.


Casas, M. et al. (2015). “Exposure to bisphenol A and phthalates during pregnancy and ultrasound measures of fetal growth in the INMA-Sabadell cohort.Environmental Health Perspectives (advance publication July 21, 2015).