Correlates of exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle and Fibroids

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2020 Jan;30(1):117-136. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0114-9. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


We performed a cross-sectional analysis to identify correlates of urinary concentrations of seven phenols (bisphenols A, F, and S; 2,4-dichlorophenol; 2,5-dichlorophenol; benzophenone-3; triclosan), triclocarban, and four parabens (butyl, ethyl, methyl, and propyl). We analyzed baseline data from 766 participants in the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids, a prospective cohort study of 1693 Black women aged 23-34 years residing in Detroit, Michigan (2010-2012). We collected data on demographic, behavioral, and anthropometric factors via telephone interviews, clinic visits, and self-administered questionnaires. For each biomarker, we used linear regression models to estimate mean differences in log-transformed, creatinine-corrected concentrations across factors of interest. Each biomarker was detected in >50% of participants. Median creatinine-corrected concentrations were the highest for methyl paraben (116.8 μg/g creatinine), propyl paraben (16.8 μg/g creatinine), and benzophenone-3 (13.4 μg/g creatinine). Variables most strongly associated with biomarker concentrations included season of urine collection, education, and body mass index (BMI). BMI was positively associated with bisphenol A and S and triclocarban concentrations and inversely associated with butyl and methyl paraben concentrations. In this cohort of Black women, exposure to phenols, parabens, and triclocarban was prevalent and several factors were associated with biomarker concentrations.

Keywords: Endocrine disruptors; Epidemiology; Personal exposure; Population-based studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Benzophenones
  • Biomarkers
  • Carbanilides / analysis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / epidemiology*
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Parabens / analysis*
  • Phenols / analysis*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Triclosan
  • Young Adult


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Benzophenones
  • Biomarkers
  • Carbanilides
  • Parabens
  • Phenols
  • Triclosan
  • oxybenzone
  • methylparaben
  • triclocarban
  • bisphenol A
  • propylparaben