Parabens, known as ubiquitous preservatives, have been linked to adverse health outcomes in humans. This study aimed to examine urinary paraben concentrations of children at 3 years of age and evaluate their associations with anthropometric parameters. Urinary parabens including methylparaben (MeP), ethylparaben (EtP), propylparaben (PrP), butylparaben (BuP) and benzylparaben (BeP) were measured among 436 children in a birth cohort using gas chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. Generalized linear models were performed to evaluate associations of paraben exposures with age- and sex-specific z scores, including weight, height, weight for height and body mass index. MeP, EtP and PrP were the dominant parabens in urinary samples, with the median concentrations of 6.03 μg/L, 3.17 μg/L, 2.40 μg/L, respectively. The median values of estimated daily intake (EDIurine) of five urinary paraben concentrations were 12.10, 5.68, 4.50, 0.06 and 0.17 μg/kg-body weight/day, respectively. Urinary EtP concentrations were positively associated with weight z scores [regression coefficient β = 0.16, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.04, 0.29; p = 0.01] and height z scores (β = 0.15, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.27; p = 0.01). Positive associations were found between the sum of molar concentrations of five parabens and height z scores among all children (β = 0.24, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.45; p = 0.02). These significant associations were only observed in boys. Our findings suggest that exposure to parabens may be adversely associated with physical growth in 3-year-old boy children. Further prospective studies are warranted to understand the toxicological mechanisms of paraben exposures and potential risk of children.
Keywords: Anthropometric measures; Child health; Exposure assessment; Parabens; Urine.
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