Correlates of non-persistent endocrine disrupting chemical mixtures among reproductive-aged Black women in Detroit, Michigan

Chemosphere. 2022 Jul;299:134447. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.134447. Epub 2022 Mar 28.


Some studies indicate that Black women have higher exposure to multiple non-persistent endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) than white women, but little is known about correlates of exposure to EDC mixtures. Using baseline data from a prospective cohort study of reproductive-aged Black women (N = 751), we characterized profiles of EDC mixtures and identified correlates of exposure. At baseline, we quantified biomarkers of 16 phthalates, 7 phenols, 4 parabens, and triclocarban in urine and collected covariate data through self-administered questionnaires and interviews. We used principal component (PC) analysis and k-means clustering to describe EDC mixture profiles. Associations between correlates and PCs were estimated as the mean difference (β) in PC scores, while associations between correlates and cluster membership were estimated as the odds ratio (OR) of cluster membership. Personal care product use was consistently associated with profiles of higher biomarker concentrations of non-persistent EDCs. Use of nail polish, menstrual and vaginal products (e.g., vaginal powder, vaginal deodorant), and sunscreen was associated with a mixture of phthalate and some phenol biomarkers using both methods. Current vaginal ring use, a form of hormonal contraception placed inside the vagina, was strongly associated with higher concentrations of high molecular weight phthalate biomarkers (k-means clustering: OR = 2.42, 95% CI = 1.28, 4.59; PCA: β = -0.32, 95% CI = -0.71, 0.07). Several dietary, reproductive, and demographic correlates were also associated with mixtures of EDC biomarkers. These findings suggest that personal care product use, diet, and contraceptive use may be sources of exposure to multiple non-persistent EDCs among reproductive-aged Black women. Targeted interventions to reduce exposure to multiple EDCs among Black women are warranted.

Keywords: Black women; Chemical mixtures; Endocrine disruptors; Parabens; Phenols; Phthalates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers
  • Endocrine Disruptors* / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants* / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Michigan
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phthalic Acids*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Phenols
  • Phthalic Acids