Exposure to phthalates in children aged 5-7years: Associations with thyroid function and insulin-like growth factors

Sci Total Environ. 2017 Feb 1;579:950-956. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.146. Epub 2016 Nov 22.


This study aimed to evaluate the associations between phthalate concentrations and thyroid function in preschool children. We collected demographic data and biological samples from 216 children aged 5-7years. We calculated urinary concentrations of eight mono-phthalate metabolites (mPAEs) separately for children from urban and rural areas and investigated their associations with thyroid function and growth hormones. mPAE concentrations were higher in children from the urban area than in those from the rural area, and most mPAEs were positively associated with free triiodothyronine and free thyroxine. The insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentration decreased 0.082ng/mL (95% confidence interval [CI]: -1.34, -0.113) with each 1ng/mL increase in monomethyl phthalate (MMP) and 0.132ng/mL (95% CI: -0.209, -0.055) with each 1ng/mL increase in mono-n-butyl phthalate. The insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 concentration decreased by 0.01mg/L (95% CI: -0.001, -0.000) or 0.01mg/L (95% CI: -0.003, -0.000) with each 1ng/mL increase in MMP or monoethyl phthalate, respectively. Exposure to some phthalates at 5-7years of age might interfere with thyroid hormones and growth.

Keywords: Insulin-like growth factor; Phthalate metabolite; Preschool children; Thyroid function.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Environmental Pollutants / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Male
  • Phthalic Acids / metabolism*
  • Phthalic Acids / toxicity
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism
  • Thyroid Gland / physiology*
  • Thyroid Hormones / metabolism


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • IGF1 protein, human
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • phthalic acid