PVC flooring and its relation to human uptake of phthalates in infants. A pilot study to the SELMA-study. Fredrik Carlstedt1, *, Mikael Hasselgren1, Bo A Jönsson2, Malin Larsson3, Carl-Gustaf Bornehag3 1 Primary Care Research Centre, County Council of Värmland, Karlstad, Sweden Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Lund University, Lund, Sweden 3 Public Health Science, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden 2 *Corresponding email [email protected] Keywords: polyvinyl chloride flooring, infant, endocrine disruptors, phthalates 1 Introduction Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) flooring is a well known emitter of suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as different phthalates (Bornehag et al., 2005), used as plasticizers. It is further suspected that foetal environment and early life exposures are programming risk of allergic disease in later life (Carrington and Langley-Evans 2006; Bornehag and Nanberg 2009). It has also been shown that asthma and allergies among children are associated with exposures from plasticized PVC such as phthalates (Bornehag, Sundell et al. 2004; Kolarik, Naydenov et al. 2008). The aim of the current study was to investigate the feasibility of measuring phthalates and their metabolites in urine from infants and if any relations between these variables and environmental factors could be seen. It was conducted as a pilot study for the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal Mother and child Asthma and allergy study (SELMA), an ongoing prospective mother-child study in Sweden (www.selmastudy.se). 2 Materials/Methods Consecutive infants between two and six months old and their mothers, who were scheduled for a regular visit at children’s health care centres, were invited to participate. The mothers were asked 33 multiple choice questions that dealt with symptoms of allergic disease, heredity and housing characteristics. Urine samples from the child were analyzed for the content of pthalate metabolites (monoesters) related to the mother substances diethyl-hexyl phthalate (DEHP), butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP) where the corresponding monoesters were: MEHP, MBzP, MBP, and MEP. The concentration of the monoesters in the children’s urine was adjusted for creatinine concentration in order to minimize influence of water dilution. 3 Results Of 209 invited mother-child pairs, 110 (52%) accepted to participate. Urine samples were obtained from 83 of these children. As shown in table 1 and figure 1, urine levels of Monobenzyl Phthalate (MBzP), a metabolite of BBzP, was significantly higher in infants with PVC flooring in their bedrooms (p<0.007). Table 1. Urinary phthalate metabolite levels in the infants, PVC flooring in the bedroom compared to wood and linoleum, creatinine correlated ng/ml / (mmol/l). *p<0.007 PVC Wood/ Phthalate linoleum N 29 49 MBzP Median 9.6 6.0 Range 2.40.8-40.2 57.8 GM 10.3* 6.0* Figure 2. Distribution of PVC-flooring in the bedrooms compared to urinary MBzP levels, shown as quartiles. 4 Conclusions Urinary levels of phthalates during early life are significantly related to PVC flooring in the bedroom. The clinical consequences of these findings are not known. The findings will be further explored in the longitudinal SELMA study. The present findings indicate that the previously seen association between PVC flooring and allergic disease may be due to increased phthalate uptake. 5 References Bornehag, C.-G., J. Sundell, et al. 2004. The association between asthma and allergic symptoms in children and phthalates in house dust: a nested case-control study. Environmental Health Perspectives 112(14): 1393-1397. Bornehag, C. G. and E. Nanberg 2009. Phthalate exposure and asthma in children. International Journal of Andrology 33(2): 333-345. Carrington, L. J. and S. C. Langley-Evans 2006. Wheezing and eczema in relation to infant anthropometry: evidence of developmental programming of disease in childhood. Matern Child Nutr 2(1): 51-61. Kolarik, B., K. Naydenov, et al. 2008. The association between phthalates in dust and allergic diseases among Bulgarian children. Environmental Health Perspectives 116(1): 98-103.