Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Children exposed to two phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation

Date:
September 5, 2012
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Children exposed to diethyl phthalate and butylbenzyl phthalate -- phthalate chemicals commonly found in personal care and plastic products -- have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation, according to researchers.

Children exposed to diethyl phthalate (DEP) and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) -- phthalate chemicals commonly found in personal care and plastic products -- have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation, according to researchers at Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Of the 244 children aged 5 to 9 in the study, all had detectable levels of phthalates in their urine although these varied over a wide range. Higher levels of both phthalates were associated with higher levels of nitric oxide in exhaled breath, a biological marker of airway inflammation. The association between BBzP exposure and airway inflammation was especially strong among children who had recently reported wheeze, a common symptom of asthma. Results were recently published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"While many factors contribute to childhood asthma, our study shows that exposure to phthalates may play a significant role," says Allan Just, PhD, first author on the new CCCEH study and current postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Just and co-investigators looked at children enrolled in the CCCEH Mothers and Newborns study. All live in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx where asthma prevalence is high. Exposure to phthalates was measured through a urine test, and the level of nitric oxide in the child's exhaled breath was quantified as a marker of airway inflammation.

The study is the first to use exhaled nitric oxide in a study of phthalate exposure in children. By using the biomarker in exhaled breath, the researchers overcame a significant hurdle. "Many asthma patients only have asthma exacerbations a few times a year, making it difficult to discern short-term associations between environmental exposures and the disease," explains Matthew Perzanowski, PhD, senior author and Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School. "To solve this problem, we used nitric oxide, which has been shown to be a reliable marker of airway inflammation in response to known asthma triggers like vehicle emissions."

Phthalates are used widely in consumer products, including plastics, vinyl flooring, and personal care products, making exposure ubiquitous in the United States and other developed nations. Phthalates enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, and absorption through the skin. However, past research has suggested inhalation to be a particularly important route of exposure to the two phthalates associated with airway inflammation in this study. Several phthalates are known to disrupt the endocrine system and early-life exposure has been linked not only to asthma but also to adverse neurobehavioral and reproductive effects. A recent study by Dr. Just and other CCCEH investigators found that prenatal exposure to BBzP was linked with increased risk of childhood eczema.

The research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health grants R01 ES014393, R01 ES013163, P01 ES09600, R01 ES008977, and P30 ES009089; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants R827027, RD832141, RD834509, and EPA STAR graduate fellowship FP-91712001 for Allan C. Just; the John and Wendy Neu Family Foundation and other private funding sources.

Additional authors include Robin M. Whyatt, Rachel L. Miller, Andrew G. Rundle, Qixuan Chen, Antonia M. Calafat, Adnan Divjan, Maria J. Rosa, Hanjie Zhang, Frederica P. Perera, and Inge F. Goldstein.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. C. Just, R. M. Whyatt, R. L. Miller, A. G. Rundle, Q. Chen, A. M. Calafat, A. Divjan, M. J. Rosa, H. Zhang, F. P. Perera, I. F. Goldstein, M. S. Perzanowski. Children's Urinary Phthalate Metabolites and Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide in an Urban Cohort. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1164/rccm.201203-0398OC

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Children exposed to two phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905135334.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2012, September 5). Children exposed to two phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905135334.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Children exposed to two phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905135334.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins