Determinants of exposure to endocrine disruptors following hurricane Harvey

Environ Res. 2023 Jan 15;217:114867. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114867. Epub 2022 Nov 21.


Hurricane Harvey was a category four storm that induced catastrophic flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. Following the hurricane there was increased concern regarding chemical exposures due to damage caused by flood waters and emergency excess emissions from industrial facilities. This study utilized personal passive samplers in the form of silicone wristbands in Houston, TX to both assess chemical exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) immediately after the hurricane and determine participant characteristics associated with higher concentrations of exposure. Participants from the Houston-3H cohort (n = 172) wore a wristband for seven days and completed a questionnaire to determine various flood-related and demographic variables. Bivariate and multivariate analysis indicated that living in an area with a high Area Deprivation Index (ADI) (indicative of low socioeconomic status), identifying as Black/African American or Latino, and living in the Houston neighborhoods of Baytown and East Houston were associated with increased exposure to EDCs. These results provide evidence of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic injustices in exposure to EDCs in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Since the multiple regression models conducted did not fully explain exposure (0.047 < R2 < 0.34), more research is needed on the direct sources of EDCs within this area to create effective exposure mitigation strategies.

Keywords: Endocrine disrupting chemicals; Environmental justice; Hurricane Harvey; Natural disasters; Passive sampling; Silicone wristbands.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Endocrine Disruptors*
  • Floods
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Endocrine Disruptors