Phthalates and bisphenol A are commercially important classes of industrial chemicals used in a wide variety of consumer products. Many of these compounds have been identified as endocrine disruptors causing functional and structural impairment of reprodu ction and development. Furthermore, epidemiological associations have been observed between exposure to these chemicals and disease outcomes like allergy/asthma and diabetes. However, the routes whereby people become exposed to phthalates and BPA are not yet fully understood.
The overall aim of the project is to assess the pathways for human exposure to phthalates and BPA by comparing estimates of exposure from indoor environment and food with excretion of urinary metabolites as integrated biomarkers of exposure. Results from this study will give valuable inputs to the risk assessment of these compound classes and to the development of control strategies to minimise human exposure.
A cohort of about 40 households with children at age 6 to 10 years will be established. Indoor air and dust samples and urine samples will be collected both from adults and children as well as information on dietary habits and indoor variables. Selected basic foodstuffs will be analysed for the estimation of the dietary intak e.
The exposure of vulnerable subpopulations such as the children from the cohort mentioned above and pregnant women will be assessed and compared with average exposures in general populations. Finally, associations between exposure to phthalates and BP A and immunological response and inflammation reactions will be investigated in cell cultures and experimental animals.
This project is based on a collaboration of national and international scientists from a variety of fields. The combination of analyti cal and environmental chemists, nutritionists and toxicologists forms the needed framework for progress in the understanding of the exposure to these chemicals and the implications for humans.