Repeated Measurements of Paraben Exposure during Pregnancy in Relation to Fetal and Early Childhood Growth

Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Jan 2;53(1):422-433. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b01857. Epub 2018 Dec 11.


Parabens are potential endocrine disruptors with short half-lives in the human body. To date, few epidemiological studies regarding repeated paraben measurements during pregnancy associated with fetal and childhood growth have been conducted. Within a Chinese prenatal cohort, 850 mother-infant pairs from whom a complete set of maternal urine samples were acquired during three trimesters were included, and the levels of five parabens were measured. We assessed the associations of both average and trimester-specific urinary paraben levels with weight and height z-scores at birth, 6 months, 1, and 2 years of age. In all infants, each doubling increase in average ethyl paraben (EtP) was associated with -2.82% (95% CI: -5.11%, -0.53%) decrease in weight z-score at birth, whereas no significant age-specific associations were identified. After stratifying by sex, we further observed age-specific association of average EtP with -3.96% (95% CI: -7.03%, -0.89%) and -3.38% (95% CI: 6.72%, -0.03%) reduction in weight z-scores at 1 and 2 years in males, respectively. Third-trimester EtP was negatively associated with weight z-scores at birth, 1 and 2 years in males. Our results suggested negative associations between prenatal paraben exposure and fetal and childhood growth, and the third trimester may be the window of susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endocrine Disruptors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parabens*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Parabens