Phthalates and phenolic substances were investigated in urine samples from first-time mothers in Uppsala, Sweden, collected between 2009 and 2014. These substances have a comparably fast metabolism and urinary metabolites are predominantly analysed. The main aim was to investigate if measures to decrease production and use of certain phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) have resulted in decreased human exposure, and to determine if exposures to replacement chemicals have increased. Temporal trends were evaluated for metabolites (n=13) of seven phthalates, a phthalate replacer, four different bisphenols, triclosan, one organophosphate-based flame retardant, and for two pesticides. The results showed downward trends of several phthalates which are in the process of being regulated and phased out. Concomitantly, an increasing trend was seen for a metabolite of the phthalate replacer Di-iso-nonylcyclohexane 1,2-dicarboxylate (DiNCH). Bisphenol A (BPA) showed a downward trend, whereas bisphenol F, identified as one of the substitutes for BPA, showed an increasing trend. The decreasing trend of triclosan is likely due to declining use within the EU. Temporal trend studies of urine samples make it possible to investigate human exposure to rapidly metabolised substances and study how measures taken to regulate and replace problematic chemicals affect human exposure.
Gyllenhammar, I., Glynn, A., Jönsson, B. A. G., Lindh, C. H., Darnerud, P. O., Svensson, K., & Lignell, S. (2017). Diverging temporal trends of human exposure to bisphenols and plastizisers, such as phthalates, caused by substitution of legacy EDCs? Environmental Research, 153, 48–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2016.11.012