Plastic toys mouthed by children may be a source of exposure to endocrine active substances. The purpose of this study was to measure hormonal activity of substances leaching from toys and to identify potential endocrine disruptors causing that activity. For this purpose, migration experiments of toys were conducted in saliva simulants. The CALUX® assays were used to detect (anti-) estrogenic and (anti-) androgenic activity of 18 toys. Chemical trace analysisnamely, GC-MS and HPLC-MS- was used to identify which compounds may be responsible for endocrine activity in the sample migrates. Nine out of 18 tested toys showed significant estrogenic activity. For two samples, the detected estrogenic activity could be well explained by detecting the known endocrine active substance bisphenol A (BPA). For all identified substances, including BPA, a risk assessment for human health was performed by comparing the exposure dose, calculated based on the determined substance concentration, to toxicological reference values. Using worst-case scenarios, the exposure to BPA by mouthing of the two estrogen active, BPA-containing toys could be above the temporary TDI that EFSA has calculated. This demonstrates that some toys could significantly contribute to the total exposure to BPA of babies and infants. For seven out of nine estrogen active samples, the source of the estrogen activity could not be explained by analysis for 41 known or suspected endocrine active substances in plastic, indicating that the estrogen activities were caused by currently unknown endocrine active substances, or by endocrine active substances that would currently not be suspected in toys.
Plos One, 3 April 2020