IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9710: Lifestyle Habits and Exposure to BPA and Phthalates in Women of Childbearing Age from Northern Italy: A Pilot Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Background: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are compounds that interfere with aspects of hormonal signaling. Considerable attention has been paid to their biological effects especially in women of childbearing age or during pregnancy as EDCs have been reported to cross the placenta becoming concentrated in the fetus` circulation. Lifestyle habits, daily consumption of packaged foods and use of healthcare/cosmetic products are associated with increased EDCs levels. This cross-sectional research examined the EDCs levels and the lifestyle determinants of EDC exposure in a cohort of reproductive-age women from Northern Italy. Methods: Forty-five women (median age: 36, IQR: 30–38) were evaluated for urinary bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates levels and also studied for EDCs` major determinants of daily exposure; food frequency/dietary, physical activity, smoking habits and weight status. Results: Although 100% of women seemed to have been exposed to common sources of EDCs, they reported a healthy lifestyle. The multivariable model described a positive and significant association between consumption of sauces/dressings in plastic containers and monoethyl phthalate exposure (p = 0.037). Conclusions: Since reproductive age encompasses a critical window for future health and functioning of the “mothers-to-be” and their children, future studies on prenatal dietary BPA and phthalate exposure and the role of consumer product choices in reducing such exposure are recommended.