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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Phthalate concentrations in house dust in relation to autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay in the CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) study.

Authors: Philippat, Claire; Bennett, Deborah H; Krakowiak, Paula; Rose, Melissa; Hwang, Hyun-Min; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva

Published In Environ Health, (2015)

Abstract: Phthalates are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that influence thyroid hormones and sex steroids, both critical for brain development.We studied phthalate concentrations in house dust in relation to the risks of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental delay (DD).Participants were a subset of children from the CHARGE (CHildhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment) case-control study. ASD and DD cases were identified through the California Department of Developmental Services system or referrals; general population controls were randomly sampled from state birth files and frequency-matched on age, sex, and broad geographic region to ASD cases. All children (50 ASD, 27 DD, 68 typically developing (TD)) were assessed with Mullen Scales of Early Learning, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) and Aberrant Behavior Checklist. We measured 5 phthalates in dust collected in the child's home using a high volume small surface sampler.None of the phthalates measured in dust was associated with ASD. After adjustment, we observed greater di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) concentrations in indoor dust from homes of DD children: Odds ratios (OR) were 2.10 (95% confidence interval (CI); 1.10; 4.09) and 1.40 (95% CI; 0.97; 2.04) for a one-unit increase in the ln-transformed DEHP and BBzP concentrations, respectively. Among TD children, VABS communication, daily living, and adaptive composite standard scores were lower, in association with increased diethyl phthalate (DEP) concentrations in dust. Participants with higher dibutyl phthalate (DBP) concentrations in house dust also trended toward reduced performance on these subscales. Among ASD and DD boys, higher indoor dust concentrations of DEP and DBP were associated with greater hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention.House dust levels of phthalates were not associated with ASD. The inability to distinguish past from recent exposures in house dust and the fact that house dust does not capture exposure from all sources, limit the interpretation of both positive and null findings and further work is needed. However, the associations observed for DEP and DBP with impairments in several adaptive functions and greater hyperactivity, along with evidence for increased risk of DD raise concerns that these chemicals may affect neurodevelopment in children.

PubMed ID: 26108271 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Air Pollution, Indoor/adverse effects*; Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis; Autistic Disorder/chemically induced*; Autistic Disorder/epidemiology; California/epidemiology; Case-Control Studies; Child, Preschool; Developmental Disabilities/chemically induced*; Developmental Disabilities/epidemiology; Dust/analysis*; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects*; Environmental Exposure/analysis; Environmental Pollutants/adverse effects*; Environmental Pollutants/analysis; Female; Humans; Male; Odds Ratio; Phthalic Acids/analysis*

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