Rapid determination of nine parabens and seven other environmental phenols in urine samples of German children and adults.Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2014 Nov; 217(8):845-53.IJ
We developed a fast, selective and sensitive on-line LC/LC-MS/MS method for the simultaneous determination of nine parabens and seven environmental phenols in urine. Parabens are widely used as antimicrobial preservatives. Bisphenol A, triclosan, triclocarban, 2-phenylphenol, and benzophenones are used inter alia in disinfectants, sunscreens and in polymers. Some of these substances are suspected endocrine disruptors. Limits of quantification and analytical quality criteria fully met the needs for determining exposure levels occurring in the general population. We analyzed 157 spot urine samples from the general German population (59 females, 39 males and 59 children). For the parabens, we found methyl, ethyl and n-propyl paraben with high detection rates (77-98%), followed by n-butyl (36%), iso-butyl (17%), iso-propyl (3%) and benzyl paraben (3%). We detected no pentyl and heptyl paraben. Urinary concentrations were highest for methyl paraben (median 24.5 μg/L; 95th percentile 379 μg/L) followed by ethyl (1.4 μg/L; 35.2 μg/L) and n-propyl paraben (1.2 μg/L; 68.1 μg/L). Other environmental phenols with high detection rates were BPA (95%), triclosan (45%) and benzophenone 1 and 3 (26%). For most of the parabens/environmental phenols we found higher urinary levels in females than in males or children, probably due to differences in (personal care) product use. However, high levels (in the mg/L range) were also observed in children. Exposure to the above substances is occurring worldwide. Differences between countries do seem to exist and might be caused by different product compositions or different use habits. Human metabolism data is urgently needed to extrapolate from urinary biomarker levels to doses actually taken up.