Intake of Phthalate-tainted Foods and Serum Thyroid Hormones in Taiwanese Children and Adolescents

In April-May 2011, phthalates, mainly Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), were deliberately added to a variety of foodstuff as a substitute emulsifier in Taiwan. This study investigated the relationship between DEHP-tainted foodstuffs exposure and thyroid function in possibly affected children and adolescents. Two hundred fifty participants <18 years possibly exposed to DEHP were enrolled in this study between August 2012 and January 2013. Questionnaires were used to collect details on their past exposure to DEHP-tainted food items. Blood and urine samples were collected for biochemical workups to measure current exposure derived from three urinary DEHP metabolites using a creatinine excretion-based model. More than half of 250 participants were estimated to be exposed to DEHP-tainted foods found to exceed the recommend tolerable daily intake of DEHP established by the European Food Safety Authority (<50??g/kg/day). The median daily DEHP intake (DDI) among those 250 participants was 46.52??g/kg/day after multiple imputation. This value was ~10-fold higher than the current median DEHP intake (4.46??g/kg/day, n?=?240). Neither past nor current DEHP exposure intensity was significantly associated with serum thyroid profiles. Future studies may want to follow the long-term health effects of this food scandal in affected children and adolescents. Authors: Tsai HJ, Wu CF, Tsai YC, Huang PC, Chen ML, Wang SL, Chen BH, Chen CC, Wu WC, Hsu PS, Hsiung CA, Wu MT. ;Full Source: Science Reports. 2016 Jul 29; 6:30589. doi: 10.1038/srep30589. ;