Personal Care Product Use in Men and Urinary Concentrations of Select Phthalate Metabolites and Parabens: Results from the Environment And Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study

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  • Feiby L Nassan
  • Brent A Coull
  • Audrey J Gaskins
  • Michelle A Williams
  • Skakkebæk, Niels Erik
  • Jennifer B Ford
  • Xiaoyun Ye
  • Antonia M Calafat
  • Joseph M Braun
  • Russ Hauser

BACKGROUND: Personal care products (PCPs) are exposure sources to phthalates and parabens; however, their contribution to men's exposure is understudied.

OBJECTIVES: We examined the association between PCP use and urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and parabens in men.

METHODS: In a prospective cohort, at multiple study visits, men self-reported their use of 14 PCPs and provided a urine sample (2004-2015, Boston, MA). We measured urinary concentrations of 9 phthalate metabolites and methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. We estimated the covariate-adjusted percent change in urinary concentrations associated with PCP use using linear mixed and Tobit mixed regressions. We also estimated weights for each PCP in a weighted binary score regression and modeled the resulting composite weighted PCP use.

RESULTS: Four hundred men contributed 1,037 urine samples (mean of 3/man). The largest percent increase in monoethyl phthalate (MEP) was associated with use of cologne/perfume (83%, p-value<0.01) and deodorant (74%, p-value<0.01). In contrast, the largest percent increase for parabens was associated with the use of suntan/sunblock lotion (66-156%) and hand/body lotion (79-147%). Increases in MEP and parabens were generally greater with PCP use within 6 h of urine collection. A subset of 10 PCPs that were used within 6 h of urine collection contributed to at least 70% of the weighted score and predicted a 254-1,333% increase in MEP and parabens concentrations. Associations between PCP use and concentrations of the other phthalate metabolites were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: We identified 10 PCPs of relevance and demonstrated that their use within 6 h of urine collection strongly predicted MEP and paraben urinary concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number087012
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Adult, Cosmetics, Environmental Exposure/statistics & numerical data, Hazardous Substances/urine, Humans, Male, Parabens/metabolism, Phthalic Acids/urine

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