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 3 days could lower urinary concentrations. Pre- and postintervention 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% 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 labeled 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.
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. 2016. Reducing phthalate, paraben, and phenol exposure from personal care products in adolescent girls: findings from the HERMOSA Intervention Study. Environ Health Perspect 124:1600-1607; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510514.