Characterization of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Among Custodians

Source: Jennifer M. Cavallari, Nancy J. Simcox, Sara Wakai, Chensheng Lu, Jennifer L. Garza, and Martin Cherniack, Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Volume 59, Issue 8, October 2015
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From the abstract:
Phthalates, a ubiquitous class of chemicals found in consumer, personal care, and cleaning products, have been linked to adverse health effects. Our goal was to characterize urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and to identify work and nonwork sources among custodians using traditional cleaning chemicals and ‘green’ or environmentally preferable products (EPP). Sixty-eight custodians provided four urine samples on a workday (first void, before shift, end of shift, and before bedtime) and trained observers recorded cleaning tasks and types of products used (traditional, EPP, or disinfectant) hourly over the work shifts. Questionnaires were used to assess personal care product use. Four different phthalate metabolites [monoethyl phthalate (MEP), monomethyl phthalate (MMP), mono (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), and monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP)] were quantified using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Geometric means (GM) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated for creatinine-adjusted urinary phthalate concentrations. Mixed effects univariate and multivariate modeling, using a random intercept for each individual, was performed to identify predictors of phthalate metabolites including demographics, workplace factors, and personal care product use. Creatinine-adjusted urinary concentrations [GM (95% CI)] of MEP, MMP, MEHP, and MBzP were 107 (91.0–126), 2.69 (2.18–3.30), 6.93 (6.00–7.99), 8.79 (7.84–9.86) µg g−1, respectively. An increasing trend in phthalate concentrations from before to after shift was not observed. Creatinine-adjusted urinary MEP was significantly associated with frequency of traditional cleaning chemical intensity in the multivariate model after adjusting for potential confounding by demographics, workplace factors, and personal care product use. While numerous demographics, workplace factors, and personal care products were statistically significant univariate predictors of MMP, MEHP, and MBzP, few associations persisted in multivariate models. In summary, among this population of custodians, we identified both occupational and nonoccupational predictors of phthalate exposures. Identification of phthalates as ingredients in cleaning chemicals and consumer products would allow workers and consumers to avoid phthalate exposure.