Occurrence and profile characteristics of environmental phenols in human urine from a rural area in Northwestern China

Liting Hua, Wu Liu, Yarui Liu, Ming Yang, Beibei Wang, Hongkai Zhu, Lin Zhu, Yiming Yao, Yuqin Zhang, Hongzhi Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Many environmental phenols, such as bisphenols, benzophenones and parabens, are known as endocrine disruptors and can adversely affect human health. However, the knowledge of human exposure to common environmental phenols in Chinese rural areas is insufficient. In this context, 181 urine samples were collected from participants in a rural area in Northwest China and were analyzed for nine bisphenols, three benzophenones and four parabens. Bisphenol A (BPA), bisphenol S, benzophenone-1 (BP-1), benzophenone-3 (BP-3), 4-hydroxybenzophenone, methylparaben (MeP), ethylparaben and propylparaben (PrP) were detected in more than 50% of the urine samples, with median concentrations of 0.938 ng/mL, 0.0111 ng/mL, 0.191 ng/mL, 1.30 ng/mL, 0.0320 ng/mL, 25.9 ng/mL, 4.31 ng/mL and 1.94 ng/mL, respectively. A significant positive correlation was observed between BP-1 and BP-3, as well as between MeP and PrP, indicating metabolic transformation and combined use, respectively. The concentrations of MeP and PrP in females were significantly higher than those in males, suggesting that females were exposed to more MeP and PrP than males. Urinary concentrations of BPA, BP-3, MeP and PrP could be influenced by age. Other demographic information, such as annual household income, education and occupation was not associated with the exposure level of the targeted phenols in adults. The estimated daily intakes of the analytes except BPA were all below their respective tolerable/acceptable daily intake levels. This study profiles the demographic differences in the exposure to environmental phenols in general populations from rural areas and provides information on risk assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120405
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Benzophenones
  • Biomonitoring
  • Bisphenols
  • Human exposure
  • Parabens


Dive into the research topics of 'Occurrence and profile characteristics of environmental phenols in human urine from a rural area in Northwestern China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this