In an article published on June 23, 2021, in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Ju Hee Kim and colleagues from Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea developed a web-based behavioral intervention program intended to “reduce exposure to phthalate metabolites, bisphenol A, triclosan, and parabens in mothers with young children.” The program focused on human behavior regarding food intake (e.g., more organic foods, less fish, animal fat, and dairy products), use of personal care products (e.g., no cosmetics, less color makeup), and other health-related habits such as frequent hand washing, sweating, and use of glass and stainless steel for cooking. The implementation of the web-based intervention program was based on five pillars: “an educational video explaining the health effects of endocrine disruptors as well as steps to reduce exposure to them; a game to find items containing endocrine disruptors at home; a search for facilities that release endocrine disruptors; resources; and a questions and answers mode.”
Kim et al. compared 26 participating mothers with access to the intervention website to a control group of 25 mothers supplied with written information on endocrine disrupters. The authors analyzed a questionnaire the participants completed and sampled the urine of the participants before, after the first week, and at the end of the intervention. They measured changes in the concentration of six endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs): mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP, CAS 4376-20-9), mono (2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP, CAS 40321-98-0), bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), methylparaben (MP, CAS 99-76-3.), ethylparaben (EP, CAS 120-47-8), and propylparaben (PP, CAS 94-13-3). After the one-month intervention, the urinary concentrations of all six analyzed EDCs had significantly decreased in the web-based intervention group compared to the control group. Based on their findings, the scientists consider web-based behavioral interventions as an effective tool to reduce EDC exposure in mothers with young children. While they analyzed urine samples taken in the morning, they propose that future studies should take several samples a day to consider intra-day variations, and to also analyze changes in health behavior.
The journal article further lists 12 former intervention studies on EDCs summarizing the studies’ research design, analyzed chemicals, number of participants, the type (web-based, residential, dietary), and period of intervention. One previously reported challenge of ‘real-world’ dietary interventions is the inadequate labeling of food, which makes it difficult to identify foods free of EDCs, for eaxmple BPA (FPF reported).
Kim, J. H., et al. (2021). “Web-based behavioral intervention to reduce exposure to phthalate metabolites, bisphenol A, triclosan, and parabens in mothers with young children: A randomized controlled trial.” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (published online June 23, 2021).