Exposure of childbearing-aged female to phthalates through the use of personal care products in China: An assessment of absorption via dermal and its risk characterization

Sci Total Environ. 2021 Oct 15:150980. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150980. Online ahead of print.


Phthalates (PAEs) are widely used in personal care products (PCPs) and skin care packaging materials. Through national representative sampling, 328 childbearing-aged females in China were investigated by questionnaire, whose contact factors for 30 cosmetic products were collected. According to the daily exposure method and adverse cumulative effects of PAE exposure on female reproduction, we derived the ERα, ERβ binding, and AR anti-androgenic effects. The utilization rates of acne cream, non-acne cream, acne cleanser, and non-acne cleanser in volunteers were 21.90%, 22.22%, 51.63%, and 51.96%, respectively. Examining the data for PAEs in PCPs, the content of DBP (dibutyl phthalate) in them was significantly higher for tubes (0.26 ± 0.05 μg/g) and other packaging (pump type and metal tube) (0.25 ± 0.03 μg/g) than bowl (0.17 ± 0.04 μg/g). The DBP content of acne cream (0.27 ± 0.03 μg/g) was significantly higher than that of non-acne cream (0.17 ± 0.03 μg/g); likewise, there was significantly more DEHP (di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) in acne cleanser (0.87 ± 0.15 μg/g) than non-acne cleanser (0.64 ± 0.36 μg/g). Students and office worker were the main consumers of PCPs; however, among all occupation groups, the daily exposure dose of PCPs for workers was highest (mean = 0.0004, 0.0002, 0.0009 μg/kg bw/day for DEP (diethyl phthalate), DBP, and DEHP, respectively.). The cumulative indices of PAEs’ exposure revealed that the level of ERα and ERβ binding and AR anti-androgenic effects in workers was respectively 0.4935, 0.0186, and 0.2411 μg/kg bw/day. The risk index (HITDI and HIRfDs) of DEP, DBP, and DEHP was lower than their corresponding reference value (hazard index <1), but using PCPs may cause potential health risks. Therefore, we should pay attention to the adverse effects of PAEs on female reproductive functioning, especially the cumulative exposure of females of childbearing age.

PMID:34662603 | DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150980

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