Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Contaminated diet contributes to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Phthalates and BPA

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
While water bottles may tout BPA-free labels and personal care products declare phthalates not among their ingredients, these assurances may not be enough. According to a new study, we may be exposed to these chemicals in our diet, even if our diet is organic and we prepare, cook, and store foods in non-plastic containers. Children may be most vulnerable.

Phthalates and bisphenol A are synthetic endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Previous studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates to male reproductive system abnormalities. Fetal exposure to BPA is linked to hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression in girls. People may exposed to these chemicals in their diets, even if their food is organic and not prepared in plastic containers, according to a new study.
Credit: Art Allianz / Fotolia

While water bottles may tout BPA-free labels and personal care products declare phthalates not among their ingredients, these assurances may not be enough.

Related Articles


According to a study published February 27 in the Nature Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, we may be exposed to these chemicals in our diet, even if our diet is organic and we prepare, cook, and store foods in non-plastic containers. Children may be most vulnerable.

"Current information we give families may not be enough to reduce exposures," said Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, lead author on the study and an environmental health pediatrician in the UW School of Public Health and at Seattle Children's Research Institute. She is a physician at Harborview Medical Center's Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, and a UW assistant professor of pediatrics.

Phthalates and bisphenol A, better known as BPA, are synthetic endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Previous studies have linked prenatal exposure to phthalates to abnormalities in the male reproductive system. Associations have also been shown between fetal exposure to BPA and hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression in girls.

The researchers compared the chemical exposures of 10 families, half of whom were given written instructions on how to reduce phthalate and BPA exposures. They received handouts prepared by the national Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, a network of experts on environmentally related health effects in children. The other families received a five-day catered diet of local, fresh, organic food that was not prepared, cooked or stored in plastic containers.

When the researchers tested the participants' urinary concentrations of metabolites for phthalates and BPA, they got surprising results. The researchers expected the levels of the metabolities to decrease in those adults and children eating the catered diet.

Instead, the opposite happened. The urinary concentration for phthalates were 100-fold higher than the those levels found in the majority of the general population. The comparison comes from a study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This is a program of studies managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.

The concentrations were also much higher for children as compared to the adults. The researchers then tested the phthalate concentrations in the food ingredients used in the dietary intervention. Dairy products -- butter, cream, milk, and cheese -- had concentrations above 440 nanograms/gram. Ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper had concentrations above 700 ng/g, and ground coriander had concentrations of 21,400 ng/g.

"We were extremely surprised to see these results. We expected the concentrations to decrease significantly for the kids and parents in the catered diet group. Chemical contamination of foods can lead to concentrations higher than deemed safe by the US EPA," said Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana.

Using the study results, the researchers estimated that the average child aged three to six years old was exposed to 183 milligrams per kilogram of their body weight per day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limit is 20 mg/kg/day.

"It's difficult to control your exposure to these chemicals, even when you try," said Sathyanarayana. "We have very little control over what's in our food, including contaminants. Families can focus on buying fresh fruits and vegetables, foods that are not canned and are low in fat, but it may take new federal regulations to reduce exposures to these chemicals."

The other researchers in the study included Garry Alcedo (Seattle Children's Research Institute), Brian E. Saelens and Chuan Zhou (UW Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Research Institute), Russell L. Dills and Jianbo Yu (UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) and Bruce Lanphear (BC Children's Hospital and Simon Fraser University).

Their paper is titled, "Unexpected results in a randomized dietary trial to reduce phthalate and bisphenol A exposure."

The study was supported through by the Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the UW School of Public Health. A grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health provides major support for the center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. The original article was written by Elizabeth Sharpe. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sheela Sathyanarayana, Garry Alcedo, Brian E Saelens, Chuan Zhou, Russell L Dills, Jianbo Yu, Bruce Lanphear. Unexpected results in a randomized dietary trial to reduce phthalate and bisphenol A exposures. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/jes.2013.9

Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Contaminated diet contributes to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Phthalates and BPA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227121903.htm>.
University of Washington. (2013, February 27). Contaminated diet contributes to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Phthalates and BPA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227121903.htm
University of Washington. "Contaminated diet contributes to exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Phthalates and BPA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227121903.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
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