INVESTIGATING THE ASSOCIATION OF PHTHALATE EXPOSURES AND ADVERSE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH OUTCOMES IN A REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE OF U.S. WOMEN
Bibb, Katrina Alexandra
Alcala, Lesliam Q
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Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals present in a large variety of consumer goods. There is supporting evidence from animal studies that exposure to phthalates affect the female reproductive system by disrupting the epigenome and folliculogenesis/oogenesis. Although women of reproductive age experience higher phthalate exposures versus males due to frequent use of cosmetics and personal care products (PCP), studies investigating reproductive health effects of these chemicals are scarce. In this study, a nationally representative sample was used to investigate the association between exposure to phthalates (primarily in PCPs and cosmetics) and subfertility in women aged 18-44. We observed significantly higher phthalate levels among minority women and positive associations between DBP exposure and subfertility in regressions when adjusted for important covariates This is the first study to use such a sample of women to study the effects of phthalates on subfertility. More epidemiological studies are needed to investigate phthalate levels among minorities.