In a new study published online on February 9, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Public Health, researchers assess the phthalate body burden of Chinese school-age children through diet. Shen and colleagues recruited 430 school children (222 boys, 208 girls) in Shanghai, China. Participants, aged 8-16 years, were followed-up for 18 months during 2010–2012. Their spot urinary samples were collected, stored in phthalate-free containers and analyzed for six phthalate metabolites. Furthermore, data on demographics, parental information and dietary intake of the children were collected via questionnaires. The highest geometric mean of 21.9 µg/L was detected for mono-butyl phthalate (MBP), the di-butyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2) metabolite. The authors found a positive association between urinary concentrations of MBP and seafood and negative associations between MBP and dried fruits and vegetables. Egg consumption showed negative association with metabolites of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7). Consumption of soft drinks, on the other hand, was positively correlated with secondary metabolites of DEHP. These findings demonstrate that diet is an important source of phthalate exposure amongst school-age children in Shanghai, China, and further research on oral exposure route is warranted, the authors conclude.

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Shen, Q. et al. (2015). “Dietary intake and phthalates body burden in boys and girls.Archives of Public Health (open access, published online February 9, 2015).