Women who used more personal care products, particularly those with fragrance had higher concentrations of several phthalates in their urine (In Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 2013)
Abstract: Several phthalates, particularly diethyl phthalate (DEP) and di-n-butyl phthalate, can be used in personal care products (PCPs) to fix fragrance and hold color. We investigated associations between women’s reported use of PCPs within the 24 hours prior to urine collection and concentrations of several urinary phthalate metabolites. Methods: Between 2002 and 2005, 337 women provided spot urine samples and answered questions regarding their use of thirteen PCPs at a follow-up visit 3-36 months after pregnancy. We examined associations between urinary concentrations of several phthalate metabolites and use of PCPs using linear regression. Results: Use of individual PCPs ranged from 7% (nail polish) to 91% (deodorant). After adjusting for age, education, and urinary creatinine, women reporting use of perfume had 2.92 times higher (95% CI: 2.20-3.89) concentration of monoethyl phthalate (MEP, the primary metabolite of DEP) than other women. Other PCPs that were significantly associated with MEPconcentrations included: hair spray, nail polish, and deodorant. MEP concentrations increased with the number of PCPs used. Conclusion: PCP use was widespread in this group of recently pregnant women. Women’s use of PCPs, particularly of perfumes and fragranced products, was positively associated with urinary concentration of multiple phthalate metabolites.