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Hermosa study: reducing phthalate and paraben exposure from personal care products in adolescent girls

A study by Harley et al enrolled 100 Latina girls in an intervention study to determine whether using personal care products free of phthalates, parabens, and other endocrine disruptors for 3 days could lower urinary concentrations. Personal care products are a source of exposure to potentially endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

The study results were striking:  Urinary concentrations of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) decreased by 27.4% on average over the 3-day intervention; no significant changes were seen in urinary concentrations of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) and mono-isobutyl phthalate (MiBP). Methyl and propyl paraben concentrations decreased by 43.9% and 45.4%, respectively. Unexpectedly, concentrations of ethyl and butyl paraben concentrations increased, although concentrations were low overall and not detected in almost half the samples. Triclosan concentrations decreased by 35.7%, and BP-3 concentrations decreased by 36.0%.  (See here for the abstract published in Environmental Health Perspectives.)

This study demonstrates that techniques available to consumers, such as choosing personal care products that are labeled to be free of phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and BP-3, can reduce personal exposure to possible endocrine-disrupting chemicals.