In utero exposure to phthalates may adversely affect reproductive development in children due to the anti-androgenic properties of the pthalates. Accordingly, we aimed to determine the effects of in utero and environmental phthalate exposure on the reproductive development of eight-year-old children. We recruited 180 children in central Taiwan during November 2001 and followed them until August 2009 when all children became eight years old. Birth outcomes were collected. Bone age, hormone concentrations, and reproductive developmental stages were determined. Phthalate metabolite levels, including mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate [MEHP], mono-n-butyl phthalate [MnBP], and mono-benzyl phthalate [MBzP], were assessed. No significant gender differences were found in in utero phthalate exposure. Maternal urinary levels of phthalate metabolites did not correlate significantly with birth outcomes, physical characteristics, and reproductive hormones of the eight-year-old children. Regarding the urinary phthalate metabolite levels of the eight-yearold children, MEHP correlated significantly with serum progesterone levels. MEHP levels in girls correlated significantly with serum progesterone levels. MnBP correlated significantly with serum FSH in all children. In girls, MnBP correlated with serum FSH, and MBzP correlated with serum progesterone and FSH levels. Urinary phthalate metabolite levels did not correlate with female developmental stages or the development of female reproductive organs. Phthalate metabolites did not correlate with the physical characteristics and reproductive hormones in boys. Therefore, environmental exposure to phthalates, as determined by urinary phthalate metabolite levels of eight-year-old children, may affect reproductive hormone levels in children, indicating that further studies on the environmental health effects of phthalates are warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)