Jessie P. Buckley, Jordan R. Kuiper, Deborah H. Bennett, Emily S. Barrett, Tracy Bastain, Carrie V. Breton, Sridhar Chinthakindi, Anne L. Dunlop, Shohreh F. Farzan, Julie B. Herbstman, Margaret R. Karagas, Carmen J. Marsit, John D. Meeker, Rachel Morello-Frosch, Thomas G. O’Connor, Megan E. Romano, Susan Schantz, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Deborah J. Watkins, Hongkai Zhu, Edo D. Pellizzari, Kurunthachalam Kannan, and Tracey J. Woodruff. “Exposure to Contemporary and Emerging Chemicals in Commerce among Pregnant Women in the United States: The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Program.” Environmental Science & Technology (2022) 56 (10), 6560-6573 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c08942.
Prenatal chemical exposures can influence maternal and child health; however, few industrial chemicals are routinely biomonitored. We assessed an extensive panel of contemporary and emerging chemicals in 171 pregnant women across the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico in the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program. We simultaneously measured urinary concentrations of 89 analytes (103 total chemicals representing 73 parent compounds) in nine chemical groups: bactericides, benzophenones, bisphenols, fungicides and herbicides, insecticides, organophosphate esters (OPEs), parabens, phthalates/alternative plasticizers, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). We estimated associations of creatinine-adjusted concentrations with sociodemographic and specimen characteristics. Among our diverse prenatal population (60% non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic), we detected 73 of 89 analytes in ≥1 participant and 36 in >50% of participants. Five analytes not currently included in the U.S. biomonitoring were detected in ≥90% of samples: benzophenone-1, thiamethoxam, mono-2-(propyl-6-carboxy-hexyl) phthalate, monocarboxy isooctyl phthalate, and monohydroxy-iso-decyl phthalate. Many analyte concentrations were higher among women of Hispanic ethnicity compared to those of non-Hispanic White women. Concentrations of certain chemicals decreased with the calendar year, whereas concentrations of their replacements increased. Our largest study to date identified widespread exposures to prevalent and understudied chemicals in a diverse sample of pregnant women in the U.S.