Urinary excretion of phthalates and the substitutes DINCH and DEHTP in Danish young men and German young adults between 2000 and 2017 - A time trend analysis
Vogel, N.; Frederiksen, H.; Lange, R.; Jorgensen, N.; Koch, H. M.; Weber, T.; Andersson, A. M.; Kolossa-Gehring, M.
Int J Hyg Environ Health 248 (2023), 114080; online: 17 January 2023
Over the last twenty-five years it has become evident that exposure to several phthalates can have adverse effects on human health, such as endocrine disruption. This led to a series of EU regulations that resulted in a decrease in the production volumes of the restricted phthalates and an increased production of substitutes.
The current study describes the impact of regulations and changes in production and use of phthalates and their substitutes on internal exposure patterns in two European populations since the beginning of the 2000'ies. Using harmonised data from young adults in Denmark (Danish Young Men Study, n = 1,063, spot urine) and Germany (Environmental Specimen Bank, n = 878, 24-h urine) with repeated cross-sectional design (3-11 cycles per biomarker) we applied Locally Estimated Scatterplot Smoothing (LOESS) and Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) to estimate time trends and the role of covariates on the trend (e.g. age, BMI).
Time trends of daily excretion (mug/24h) are comparable between the two samples for the regulated (DEHP, BBzP, DiNP, DnBP, DiBP, DiDP/DPHP) as well as the non-regulated substances (DMP, DEP, DINCH, DEHTP) although the rate of change differ for some of the compounds. GLM results indicate that the daily excretion of the most regulated phthalates has decreased over time (DEHP yearly about 12-16%, BBzP 5%, DnBP 0.3-17%, and DiBP 4-12%). Interestingly, also the non-regulated phthalates DMP and DEP decreased by 6-18% per year. In sharp contrast, the phthalate substitutes DINCH and DEHTP show very steep annual increases ( approximately 10-68% and approximately 100%, respectively) between 2009 and 2017. We did not find an effect of age, sex, BMI, or education on the time trend.
The present study provides comparable insights into how exposure to phthalates and two of their substitutes have changed over the last two decades in Germany and Denmark.