Nine phthalate metabolites in human urine for the comparison of health risk between population groups with different water consumptions

Jiufeng Li, Hongzhi Zhao, Wei Xia, Yanqiu Zhou, Shunqing Xu*, Zongwei CAI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Phthalates are a group of high production volume chemicals widely detected in environment matrix and human specimens. Potential health risks due to the prevalence of their exposure through water consumption and the endocrine-disrupting activities have become an important issue. This work aims to compare the distributions of phthalate levels and potential health risks caused by phthalate exposure among three groups of participants ingesting different types of water. Here, a method with good performance was applied for the analysis of nine common phthalate metabolites in 125 human urine samples collected from Wuhan women. Seven analytes (mono‑ethyl, mono‑benzyl, mono‑n‑butyl, mono‑(2‑ethylhexyl), mono‑(2‑ethyl‑5‑oxohexyl), mono‑(2‑ethyl‑5‑hydroxyhexyl), and mono‑(2‑ethyl‑5‑carboxypentyl) phthalate) were detected in over 80% of the samples. By measuring urinary concentrations of phthalate monoesters, the exposure levels of respective parent phthalates, exposure patterns, the estimated daily intakes and accumulative risk assessments were investigated in three groups of participants consuming water from different sources (bottled water, filtered water and boiled tap water). The results showed that the exposure patterns of phthalates varied among the population groups with different water intakes, and the health risk was higher for people ingesting the boiled tap water than that of the groups consuming bottled water (purified water) and filtered water with filter cartridge containing activated carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1540
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Health risk assessment
  • Human urine analysis
  • Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry
  • Phthalates
  • Water consumption


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