Urinary concentrations of parabens and their association with demographic factors: A population-based cross-sectional study.Environ Res. 2016 Apr; 146:245-51.ER
Parabens are broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents used in a range of consumer products, including personal care products, cosmetics, and food. Recently, the widespread use of parabens has raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with their endocrine-disrupting effect. In the present study, 2541 urine samples were collected and analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for the determination of the concentrations of methyl paraben (MeP), ethyl paraben (EtP), propyl paraben (PrP) and butyl paraben (BuP). The detection rate and geometric mean concentrations of parabens in the general population followed the order MeP (97.7%; 116ng/mL)>EtP (97.2%; 24.7ng/mL)>PrP (96.7%; 11.0ng/mL)>BuP (83.5%; 1.13ng/mL). The composition profiles showed that MeP and EtP accounted for >90% of the urinary paraben concentration. We performed statistical analysis in order to evaluate differences between demographic variables and urinary concentrations. Our results showed that adjusted proportional change of MeP, PrP, and BuP in adults were 2.67-6.13 times higher in females than in males. The urinary concentrations of PrP in adults increased significantly with age. The adjusted proportional changes of MeP and PrP in adults were associated with increased body mass index (BMI). The adjusted proportional changes of BuP and PrP in children and adolescents were 1.44 and 1.69 times higher in females than in males. However, there was no clear association between paraben concentrations and demographic variables in the children and adolescents groups. The estimated daily intake (EDIurine) of MeP and EtP in adults were 301μg/kg bw/day, which is lower than the acceptable daily intake (ADI; 10mg/kg bw/day). In summary, our results revealed that the general population in Korea was exposed to parabens during 2009-2010, and most Koreans are exposed to parabens. The urinary levels of parabens varied by age group with demographic factors in the Korean population. The results of study may be used to establish a nationally representative baseline of exposure to parabens in risk assessment.