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Organophosphate Esters in a Cohort of Pregnant Women: Variability and Predictors of Exposure


Organophosphate Esters in a Cohort of Pregnant Women: Variability and Predictors of Exposure

Zana Percy et al. Environ Res.


Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are a group of chemicals used as flame retardants and plasticizers that replaced polybrominated diphenyl ethers in consumer products such as furniture and electronics. To characterize exposure to OPEs during fetal development, we measured urinary OPE metabolite concentrations in women twice during pregnancy (16 and 26 weeks' gestation) and at delivery (n = 357). We also previously quantified house dust OPE parent compound concentrations at 20 weeks' gestation (n = 317). Diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) had the highest geometric mean urinary concentrations (1.5-2.3 μg/g creatinine), followed by bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP; 0.75-0.99 μg/g creatinine), and bis(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (BCEP; 0.72-0.97 μg/g creatinine), while dibutyl phosphate (DNBP) had the lowest concentrations (0.25-0.28 μg/g creatinine). Urinary OPE metabolites were moderately correlated with each other at 26 weeks (rs: 0.23-0.38, p < 0.001) while the correlations at 16 weeks and delivery were slightly weaker. Intra-class correlations for urinary metabolites measured at three time points were poor (0.16-0.34), indicating high variability within individuals. Dust concentrations of OPE parent compounds were associated with BCEP, BDCIPP, and DPHP concentrations in urine at some but not all time points. In linear mixed models of urinary OPE metabolite concentrations, household size was inversely associated with BCEP concentrations, and being non-white was associated with lower BDCIPP and DPHP concentrations. Urine samples collected in the summer had the highest OPE metabolite concentrations. This study highlights the need to collect multiple urine samples during pregnancy to define exposure patterns and investigate potential periods of susceptibility.

Keywords: Cohort study; Organophosphate esters; Pregnancy; Urinary metabolites.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of interests

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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