Presence of parabens, phenols and phthalates in paired maternal serum, urine and amniotic fluid

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  • Elvira V Bräuner
  • Cecilie S Uldbjerg
  • Lim, Youn-Hee
  • Laura S Gregersen
  • Marianna Krause
  • Hanne Frederiksen
  • Anna-Maria Andersson

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether selected endocrine disrupting chemicals were present in pregnant women and passed through the placental barrier to amniotic fluid, potentially exposing the developing fetus.

METHODS: Paired samples of maternal serum, urine and amniotic fluid were concurrently collected (<1 h) from 200 pregnant women (age >18 years) with a singleton pregnancy and undergoing amniocentesis between gestational weeks 12 - 36. The concentration of six different parabens, seven phenols, 31 metabolites from 15 phthalate diesters and the polychlorinated substance triclocarban were analyzed by isotope diluted TurboFlow-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

RESULTS: Concentrations of all included compounds were highest in maternal urine followed by serum, and lowest in amniotic fluid. Of the six parabens measured in amniotic fluid, methylparaben (MeP) and ethylparaben (EtP) were detectable most often (87% and 33% of the samples, respectively). Of the seven phenols measured, three (2,4-dichlorphenol, 2,5-dichlorphenol, 2-propylphenol) were detectable in the range of 14-21% of the amniotic fluid samples, at low concentrations (<0.12 ng/ml). Two secondary phthalates metabolites, mono-(2-carboxymethyl-hexyl) phthalate and mono-carboxy-iso-octyl phthalate were each present in ≤15% of the amniotic fluid samples at concentrations 2-5 times lower than in maternal serum and 20-100 times lower than in maternal urine. A modest statistically significant correlation between the levels of MeP and EtP was detected in paired maternal urine-amniotic fluid samples was detected (Spearman rMeP: 0.246; rEtP: 0.364). Likewise, the concentration of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) in paired maternal urine and amniotic fluid samples indicated a modest statistically significant correlation (Spearman rMEP: 0.264), driven by detectable levels of MEP in only 3% of the amniotic fluid samples.

CONCLUSIONS: In general, the included parabens, phenols and phthalates were effectively metabolized and excreted via the urine, which was the matrix that reflected the highest detectable levels. The detectable levels of several included parabens and phthalates in human amniotic fluid calls for further investigations of the toxicokinetic and potential endocrine disrupting properties of individual and multiple endocrine disruptors in order to better assess the risk to the developing fetus.

TidsskriftEnvironment International
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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