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Racial Disparity in Maternal Phthalates Exposure; Association with Racial Disparity in Fetal Growth and Birth Outcomes



Michael S. Bloom, Abby G. Wenzel, John W. Brock, Rebecca J. Wineland, Lori Cruze, Elizabeth R. Unal, Assem Jiyessova, Roger B. Newman, John Kucklick


Background: Experimental and observational data implicate phthalates as developmental toxicants. However, few data are available to assess the maternal risks of gestational exposure by race and infant sex. Objectives: To characterize associations between maternal urinary phthalates and birth outcomes among African American and white mothers. Results: Lower z-scores were associated with higher MiBP (β=-0.28; 95%CI: -0.54, -0.02) and MMP (β=-0.31; 95%CI: -0.52, -0.09) concentrations, while MEP interacted with race (p=0.03), indicating an association among whites (β=-0.14; 95%CI: -0.28, 0.001) but not among African Americans (β=0.05; 95%CI=-0.09, 0.50). MiBP (OR=2.84; 95%CI: 1.22, 6.61) and MEOHP (OR=2.79; 95%CI: 1.05, 7.41) were associated with an overall higher SGA risk, and higher MEHP was associated with higher SGA risk (p=0.09) in whites (OR=3.22 95%CI: 0.63, 16.39) but not African Americans (OR=0.71 95%CI: 0.07, 7.11).. We detected an interaction for MEP with PTB (p=0.02); African Americans were at greater risk (OR=1.43; 95%CI: 0.96, 2.12) than whites (OR=0.62; 95%CI: 0.34, 1.13). Higher MMP was associated with an overall higher LBW risk (OR=1.90; 95%CI: 1.11, 3.25), and boys were at greater risk than girls with higher MBP (p=0.002), MiBP (p=0.02), MBzP (p=0.01), MEP (p=0.002), and MMP (p=0.09) concentrations. Discussion: Our results suggest that gestational phthalate exposure is associated with adverse maternal birth outcomes, and that the effects vary by race and infant sex.
Environmental International


Plasticize, exposure science, endocrine disruption


Bloom, M. , Wenzel, A. , Brock, J. , Wineland, R. , Cruze, L. , Unal, E. , Jiyessova, A. , Newman, R. and Kucklick, J. (2019), Racial Disparity in Maternal Phthalates Exposure; Association with Racial Disparity in Fetal Growth and Birth Outcomes, Environmental International, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created April 10, 2019, Updated August 12, 2022