In this study of four hundred men 83% percent increase in monoethyl phthalate (MEP) was associated with use of cologne/perfume and 74% for deodorant. While the largest percent increase for parabens, between 66 and 156% was associated with the use of suntan/sunblock lotion and a 79–147% for hand/body lotions. Increases in MEP and parabens were generally greater with PCP use within 6 h of urine collection. A 6 hour period after application of the PCP lead to at least 70% of the weighted score and predicted a 254–1,333% increase in MEP and parabens concentrations.
Previous studies have shown a cyclical pattern of rise and decline suggestive of ongoing repeated nonfood exposures including monoethyl phthalate increasing after showers, which suggested PCPs as a major source of DEP exposure.
Phthalates are a family of chemicals commonly used as plasticizers in polyvinyl chloride plastics and in consumer products, including personal care products (PCPs), medications, and food processing and packaging materials. However, studies suggest the major phthalate and paraben exposure comes from personal care producs and cosmetics, up to 50 times more for parabens in women than diet. Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is the most commonly used phthalate in PCPs. Parabens are a family of chemicals with antimicrobial preservative properties that are also widely used in PCPs, pharmaceuticals, food, and beverages to increase the shelf life of the product. Methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are most commonly used in PCPs.
A number of studies have also shown now that that urinary concentrations of the parabens are lower when the participants are given products without parabens and phthalates.
Exposure to phthalates and parabens from PCP use occurs through direct dermal application or even transdermal exposure from air.
The phthalates and parabens are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to adverse health outcomes including male infertility.