Temporal Trends of Phenol, Paraben, and Triclocarban Exposure in California Pregnant Women during 2007-2014

Environ Sci Technol. 2021 Aug 17;55(16):11155-11165. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c01564. Epub 2021 Aug 4.


Little is known about temporal trends of pregnant women's exposures to environmental phenols and parabens. We quantified four phenols [bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol F, bisphenol S, and triclosan), four parabens [butyl paraben, ethyl paraben (ETPB), methyl paraben (MEPB), and propyl paraben (PRPB)], and triclocarban in 760 urine samples collected during 2007-2014 from 218 California pregnant women participating in a high-familial risk autism spectrum disorder cohort. We applied multiple regression to compute least square geometric means of urinary concentrations and computed average annual percent changes. We compared our urinary concentrations with those of other study populations to examine geographic variations in pregnant women's exposure to these target compounds. Urinary concentrations of BPA, MEPB, ETPB, and PRPB in this study population decreased over the study period [percent change per year (95% confidence interval): -5.7% (-8.2%, -3.2%); -13.0% (-18.1%, -7.7%); -5.5% (-11.0%, 0.3%); and -13.3% (-18.3%, -8.1%), respectively] and were consistently lower than those in pregnant women in other U.S. regions during the same study period. In recent years, certain phenols and parabens with known adverse health effects are being regulated or replaced with alternatives, which explains decreased body burdens observed in this study population. Either the national regulations or the advocacy campaigns in California may have influenced exposures or consumer product choices.

Keywords: bisphenols; geographic variations; personal care products; regulations; social forces; temporal changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Carbanilides
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parabens* / analysis
  • Phenol
  • Phenols
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women


  • Carbanilides
  • Parabens
  • Phenols
  • Phenol
  • triclocarban