On October 2, 2019, the Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Médiques (IMIM) based in Barcelona, Spain published a technical report investigating the concentration of different substances related to plastic exposure in urine samples from 20 adults. The analysis looked for 15 phthalates and 12 phenols, and it found that all phthalates were detectable in each study participant. For the phenols, 5 of 12 were detected in every participant, including bisphenol A (BPA; CAS 80-05-7) and methylparaben (CAS 99-76-3). Three of the phenols were not detected in any of the urine samples analyzed. A minimum of 20 and maximum of 23 compounds were detected per individual, with monoethyl phthalate (MEP; CAS 2306-33-4) having the highest concentrations of all phthalates (median concentration of 52 ng/mL) and methylparaben (MEPA; CAS 99-76-3) having the highest concentrations of all phenols (median concentration of 17 ng/mL). The authors comment that the study’s results “illustrate the fact that the presence of plastic residues in the human body is frequent.”


IMIM (2019). “Resultats de l’analisi de les concentracions en orina de ftalats I compostos fenolics dins la campanya ‘Salut de Plastic’.” (published October 2, 2019). (in Catalan) (pdf)