Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2016 Sep;188(9):534.
doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5502-1. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Endocrine Disruptor Phthalates in Bottled Water: Daily Exposure and Health Risk Assessment in Pregnant and Lactating Women


Endocrine Disruptor Phthalates in Bottled Water: Daily Exposure and Health Risk Assessment in Pregnant and Lactating Women

Maryam Zare Jeddi et al. Environ Monit Assess. .


Over the last decade, the consumption of water bottled in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has considerably increased, raising concerns over water quality and packaged materials. This study aims to investigate the levels of the anti-androgenic phthalates including bis-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), in bottled water and its corresponding health risks in pregnant and lactating women. The phthalate levels were measured in six different brands of bottled water exposed to temperatures ranging between -18 and 40 °C and sunlight for 45 days. The phthalate was quantified using the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In addition, the non-carcinogenic effects were assessed using hazard quotient (HQ) approach, and cumulative health risk assessment was performed on the basis of hazard index (HI) calculation. In order to assess the carcinogenic risk due to the possible carcinogen DEHP (group 2B), the excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) was used. DEHP and DBP contaminants were detected at different storage conditions in all of the bottled water samples during the storage time. BBP was only detected at high temperature (≥25 °C) and outdoor conditions. The maximum concentrations of all phthalates were observed when water samples were kept at 40 °C. In contrast, storage at freezing conditions had no significant effect on the concentration level of all phthalates. The estimated intake by women was between 0.0021 μg/kg/day for BBP and 0.07 μg/kg/day for DEHP. The highest HQ for phthalate intake via bottled water consumption was much lower than 1 (HQ < 0.004), which implies that adverse effects are very unlikely to occur. The execution of a cumulative risk assessment for combined phthalate exposure demonstrated that the HIs for anti-androgenic effect were lower than 1 in all of the conditions. Furthermore, ELCR for DEHP based on the highest detected level was found to be less than 10(-6), which is considered acceptable. Our results prove that the levels of phthalates in bottled water are not a health concern for pregnant and lactating women. Consequently, PET-bottled water is not a major contributor to phthalate intake for most individuals.

Keywords: Bottled water; Cumulative risk assessment; Endocrine disruptor chemicals; Excess cancer risk; Hazard quotient; Phthalate.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles


    1. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013 Jan;90(1):91-6 - PubMed
    1. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2008 Apr;25(4):511-8 - PubMed
    1. Water Res. 2008 Dec;42(20):5054-60 - PubMed
    1. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Aug;116(8):1092-7 - PubMed
    1. Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2008 Feb;38(2):34-49 - PubMed