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Urinary paraben concentrations and their implications for human exposure in Iranian pregnant women

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Parabens are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, medicines, and foods due to its antimicrobial properties. Concerns have been raised regarding the estrogenic activity and potential endocrine disruption effects of parabens. Studies on monitoring of paraben exposure in the Iranian population are very scarce. This study was carried out to measure urinary concentrations of parabens, to estimate their daily intake, and to identify some of the sociodemographic factors affecting exposure to these compounds. The concentrations of methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP), propylparaben (PP), and butylparaben (BP) were measured in urine samples collected from 95 Iranian pregnant women by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. The highest median concentration was 87.0 μg/L for MP, followed by PP, EP, and BP with median concentrations of 15.6, 9.64, and 8.57 μg/L, respectively. Except BP, the urinary concentrations of other parabens were comparable to those in other countries. Also, the highest daily intake was related to MP (median = 16.5 μg/kg-BW/day), which is less than the acceptable daily intake (ADI). A significant positive correlation was observed between the measured parabens. Significant negative associations were observed between age and BP, BMI and EP as well as parity and PP. On the other hand, income and smoking were significantly positively associated with MP, BP and EP, BP, respectively. The urinary MP and BP concentrations were higher among the subjects with diploma education (P = 0.003 and P = 0.006, respectively), and during the spring, urinary MP concentration was higher than other seasons. The results showed that Iranian pregnant women are more prone to parabens and their urinary paraben concentrations are associated with sociodemographic factors. This result could serve as a basis for evaluating the rate of exposure of the Iranian population to parabens in future studies.

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Correspondence to Ghasem Kiani Feizabadi.

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Hajizadeh, Y., Kiani Feizabadi, G., Ebrahimpour, K. et al. Urinary paraben concentrations and their implications for human exposure in Iranian pregnant women. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020).

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  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals
  • Parabens
  • Biomonitoring
  • Exposure
  • Urine
  • Pregnant women