Intellectual evaluation of children exposed to phthalate-tainted products after the 2011 Taiwan phthalate episode

Po Chin Huang, Chih Hsin Tsai, Chu Chih Chen, Ming Tsang Wu, Mei Lien Chen, Shu Li Wang, Bai Hsiun Chen, Ching Chang Lee, Jouni J.K. Jaakkola, Wen Chiu Wu, Min Kung Chen, Chao A. Hsiung, Group RAPIT Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Phthalate exposure may reduce intellectual development in young children. In 2011, numerous Taiwanese children had been reported to have consumed phthalate-tainted products. We investigated the effects of phthalate exposure on the intellectual development of these children after the 2011 Taiwan di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) episode. Methods We recruited 204 children, aged 3–12 y, from 3 hospitals in Taiwan between 2012 and 2013. First-morning urine samples were collected for analyzing 5 phthalate metabolites. We applied a Bayesian model to estimate the past DEHP exposure (estDEHPADD) of each participant before the 2011 DEHP episode. Demographic information, consumption of phthalate-tainted products, and maternal education, of each participant were obtained using a questionnaire. We used the Wechsler intelligence evaluation tools for assessing the children's and maternal intelligence quotient. Results and discussion The median levels of mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate, mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), mono-n-butyl phthalate, and mono-iso-butyl phthalate in the children were 9.97, 45.8, 32.2, 46.2, and 24.3 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Using the aforementioned urinary phthalate metabolites, we found that the children's verbal comprehension index (N =98) was significantly negatively associated with urinary log10 MEOHP (β, −11.92; SE, 5.33; 95%CI, −22.52~ −1.33; P=0.028) and log10 ΣDBP metabolites (β, −10.95; SE, 4.93; 95%CI, −20.74~ −1.16; P=0.029) after adjustment for age, gender, maternal IQ and education, passive smoking, estDEHPADD, active and passive smoking during pregnancy. Through a tolerable daily intake-based approach, we only found a significant negative association between past estimate DEHPADD and VIQ≥3-<6 in preschool children whereas no correlation was observed between current DEHP exposure and IQ≥3-<6 score with/ without estimate DEHPADD adjustment. It revealed that the effect of past high-DEHP exposure on verbal-related neurodevelopment of younger child are more sensitive. Conclusion Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to DEHP and DnBP affects intellectual development in preschool and school-aged children, particularly their language learning or expression ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume156
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intellectual evaluation of children exposed to phthalate-tainted products after the 2011 Taiwan phthalate episode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this