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Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1510514

Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study

Kim G. Harley1, Katherine Kogut1, Daniel S. Madrigal1, Maritza Cardenas1, Irene A. Vera1, Gonzalo Meza-Alfaro1, Jianwen She2, Qi Gavin2, Rana Zahedi2, Asa Bradman1, Brenda Eskenazi1, and Kimberly L. Parra3
Author Affiliations open
1Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH), UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA; 2Environmental Health Laboratory, California Department of Public Heath, Richmond, California, USA; 3Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, Salinas, California, USA

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  • Background: Personal care products are a source of exposure to potentially endocrine disrupting chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3) for adolescent girls.

    Methods: We enrolled 100 Latina girls in a youth-led, community-based participatory research intervention study to determine whether using personal care products whose labels stated they did not contain these chemicals for three days could lower urinary concentrations. Pre- and post-intervention urine samples were analyzed for phthalate metabolites, parabens, triclosan and BP-3 using high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

    Results: Urinary concentrations of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) decreased by 27.4% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): -39.3, -13.2) on average over the 3 day intervention; no significant changes were seen in urinary concentrations of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP). Methyl and propyl paraben concentrations decreased by 43.9% (95% CI: -61.3, -18.8) and 45.4% (95% CI: -63.7, -17.9), respectively. Unexpectedly, concentrations of ethyl and butyl paraben concentrations increased, although concentrations were low overall and not detected in almost half the samples. Triclosan concentrations decreased by 35.7% (95% CI: -53.3, -11.6) and BP-3 concentrations decreased by 36.0% (95% CI: -51.0, -16.4).

    Discussion: This study demonstrates that techniques available to consumers, such as choosing personal care products that are labelled to be free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and BP-3, can reduce personal exposure to possible endocrine disrupting chemicals. Involving youth in the design and implementation of the study was key to recruitment, retention, compliance, and acceptability of the intervention.

  • This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

    Citation: Harley KG, Kogut K, Madrigal DS, Cardenas M, Vera IA, Meza-Alfaro G, She J, Gavin Q, Zahedi R, Bradman A, Eskenazi B, Parra KL. Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure from Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510514

    Received: 20 July 2015
    Accepted: 18 February 2016
    Advance Publication: 7 March 2016

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