Free and total urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations among pregnant women from the Healthy Baby Cohort (HBC), China

Yingshuang Zhu, Yanjian Wan, Yuanyuan Li, Bin Zhang, Aifen Zhou, Zongwei CAI, Zhengmin Qian, Chuncao Zhang, Wenqian Huo, Kai Huang, Jie Hu, Lu Cheng, Huailong Chang, Zheng Huang, Bing Xu, Wei Xia*, Shunqing Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Total urinary phthalate metabolites (the free plus glucuronidated forms) have been frequently measured in the general population. However, data are limited on the free forms which may be more bioactive, especially for sensitive population such as pregnant women. Here the data gap was addressed by measuring concentrations of free and total forms of six phthalate metabolites in 293 urine samples from pregnant women at delivery, who were randomly selected from the prospective Healthy Baby Cohort (HBC), China. We observed detectable concentrations of the total amount of phthalate metabolites in all urine samples. The geometric mean (GM) urinary concentrations of free and total mono-butyl phthalate (MBP) (5.20, 54.49. ng/mL) were the highest, followed by mono-(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) phthalate (MECPP) (4.52, 7.27. ng/mL). For most of phthalate metabolites, urinary concentrations were significantly higher in women who were nulliparous. Significantly higher concentrations of mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) and mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP) were found in women who had higher educational level. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report the free and total forms of phthalate metabolites among pregnant women in China. The results suggest that exposure characteristics may be related to parity and education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Free form
  • Healthy baby cohort
  • Phthalate metabolites
  • Pregnant women


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