Exposure of Preschool-Age Greek Children (RHEA Cohort) to Bisphenol A, Parabens, Phthalates, and Organophosphates

Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Jan 19;50(2):932-41. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b03736. Epub 2015 Dec 23.


Phthalate esters (PEs), bisphenol A (BPA), and parabens (PBs), which are used in numerous consumer products, are known for their endocrine disrupting properties. Organophosphate chemicals (OPs), which form the basis of the majority of pesticides, are known for their neurotoxic activity in humans. All of these chemicals are associated with health problems to which children are more susceptible. Once they enter the human body, PEs, BPA, PBs, and OPs are metabolized and/or conjugated and finally excreted via urine. Hence, human exposure to these substances is examined through a determination of the urinary concentrations of their metabolites. This study assessed the exposure of Greek preschool-age children to PEs, BPA, PBs, and OPs by investigating the urinary levels of seven PEs metabolites, six PBs, BPA, and six dialkyl phosphate metabolites in five-hundred samples collected from 4-year-old children, subjects of the "RHEA" mother-child cohort in Crete, Greece. Daily intake of endocrine disruptors, calculated for 4 year old children, was lower than the corresponding daily intake for 2.5 year old children, which were determined in an earlier study of the same cohort. In some cases the daily intake levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) values and the EFSA Reference Doses (RfD) (e.g., for di-2-ethyl-hexyl phthalate, 3.6% and 1% of the children exceeded RfD and TDi, respectively). Exposure was linked to three main sources: PEs-BPA to plastic, PBs-diethyl phthalate to personal hygiene products, and OPs to food.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / chemistry*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Pollutants / chemistry
  • Esters
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Food
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Organophosphates / chemistry*
  • Parabens / chemistry*
  • Pesticides
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Phosphates
  • Phthalic Acids / chemistry*
  • Plastics


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Esters
  • Organophosphates
  • Parabens
  • Pesticides
  • Phenols
  • Phosphates
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Plastics
  • bisphenol A