Study of Phthalates in Pregnant Woman and Children

EPA Grant Number: R829436
Title: Study of Phthalates in Pregnant Woman and Children
Investigators: Swan, Shanna Helen
Current Investigators: Swan, Shanna Helen , Lasley, Bill L. , Sparks, Amy , Calafat, Antonia , Redmon, Bruce , Wang, Christina , Kruse, Robin
Institution: University of Missouri - Columbia
Current Institution: University of Rochester , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Harbor-UCLA Medical Center , University of California - Davis , University of Iowa , University of Minnesota , University of Missouri - Columbia
EPA Project Officer: Aja, Hayley
Project Period: August 1, 2001 through January 31, 2005 (Extended to July 31, 2007)
Project Amount: $2,779,164
RFA: Endocrine Disruptors: Epidemiologic Approaches (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice , Human Health , Safer Chemicals , Endocrine Disruptors


  • Test the hypothesis that in utero exposure to phthalates is related to structural and functional development of the breast and/or genitalia in males and females.
  • Test the hypothesis that the infant's post-natal phthalate exposure is related to these reproductive parameters, and compare pre- and post-natal sensitivity.
  • Identify sources of phthalate exposure through the use of focused exposure-assessment questionnaires in combination with urinary phthalate metabolite levels.
  • Examine geographic and ethnic variation in phthalate metabolite levels in pregnant and non-pregnant women.
  • Approach:

    The Study for Future Families (SFF), currently being conducted by this research team in four U.S. cities, has enrolled close to 300 pregnant women and their partners. SFF mothers who agree to participate, and their children, will constitute population for the current study; we expect to study 800 mothers and children. Pediatric physicians will conduct two standardized breast and genital examinations on each child. We will identify 100 children in whom one or more breast and genital measurements are atypical. These children, plus those with definite or probable genital anomalies, will be selected for phthalate analyses together with an equal number of children matched on sex, gestational age, study center and ethnicity, for whom all measurements fall within the central 90% of the distribution. We will measure phthalate metabolite levels during and after pregnancy in the mothers, and in these 200 children during the first year of life. Phthalate metabolite levels will be examined in relation to examination outcomes, including genital size, amount of breast tissue and FSH level. We will also seek to identify sources of phthalate exposure by relating mothers' self-reported use of phthalate-containing products (soaps, cosmetics, teething rings, nipples and other plastics) at the time of urine collection to measured phthalate metabolite levels.

    Expected Results:

    If positive associations are identified, they can be used to estimate reproductive risk of specific phthalates. If no positive associations are found, these data will provide moderate assurance that routine use of phthalate-containing products poses no reproductive risks to infants. These results will also identify home and personal care products associated with elevated phthalate levels in women of reproductive age and their offspring.

    Publications and Presentations:

    Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 39 publications for this project

    Journal Articles:

    Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 10 journal articles for this project

    Supplemental Keywords:

    endocrine disruption, endocrine disruptors, epidemiology, sexual development, infants, neonates., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Health, Health Risk Assessment, Chemistry, Epidemiology, Endocrine Disruptors - Environmental Exposure & Risk, endocrine disruptors, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Biochemistry, genetic susceptability, Endocrine Disruptors - Human Health, childhood development, metabolites, infants, prenatal exposure, endocrine disrupting chemicals, exposure studies, sexual development, developmental effects, exposure, developmental biology, children, human growth and development, pregnant women, pregnancy, reproductive health, phthalates, epidemiologic studies

    Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report