Dietary phthalate exposure in pregnant women and the impact of consumer practices

Samantha E. Serrano, Catherine J. Karr, Noah S. Seixas, Ruby H.N. Nguyen, Emily S. Barrett, Sarah Janssen, Bruce Redmon, Shanna H. Swan, Sheela Sathyanarayana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Phthalates are ubiquitous endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are contaminants in food and contribute to significant dietary exposures. We examined associations between reported consumption of specific foods and beverages and first trimester urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations in 656 pregnant women within a multicenter cohort study, The Infant Development and Environment Study (TIDES), using multivariate regression analysis. We also examined whether reported use of ecofriendly and chemical-free products was associated with lower phthalate biomarker levels in comparison to not following such practices. Consumption of one additional serving of dairy per week was associated with decreases of 1% in the sum of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) metabolite levels (95% CI: -2.0, -0.2). Further, participants who reported sometimes eating homegrown food had monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP) levels that were 16.6% lower (95% CI: -29.5, -1.3) in comparison to participants in the rarely/never category. In contrast to rarely/never eating frozen fruits and vegetables, participants who reported sometimes following this practice had monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) levels that were 21% higher (95% CI: 3.3, 41.7) than rarely/ever respondents. Future study on prenatal dietary phthalate exposure and the role of consumer product choices in reducing such exposure is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6193-6215
Number of pages23
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 12 2014


  • Behavior
  • Consumer practices
  • Diet
  • Ecofriendly
  • Food
  • Organic
  • Phthalates
  • Pregnant women
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Unprocessed


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