The Taiwan Maternal and Infant Cohort Study (TMICS) was launched with the aim to assess the effects of prenatal exposure to phthalic acid esters (PAEs) on infant health. A total of 1102 pregnant women were enrolled in this study from 2012 to 2015. All participants completed a structured questionnaire, and provided urine specimens. The urinary concentrations of PAE metabolites in the third trimester were measured using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Generalized additive model-penalized regression splines and logistic regression models were employed to determine the risk for low birth weight (LBW) or small for gestational age (SGA) among pregnant women exposed to PAEs. After adjustments for other covariates, each incremental unit of ln-transformed mono-n-butyl phthalate (MnBP) for pregnant women increased the odds of SGA in male neonates by 1.44 (95% CI: 0.92–2.23). An inverse association between SGA and maternal MnBP exposure level was observed in female neonates. An increase in one ln-transformed MnBP concentration unit decreased the risk of female SGA to 0.50 (95% CI: 0.24–0.97). In the penalized regression splines, increased risks of LBW/SGA in male neonates were presented while pregnant women exposed to increased MnBP levels. However, an association in the opposite direction was observed between maternal MnBP and LBW or SGA for male and female neonates. This study indicated that high maternal MnBP exposure in the third trimester was associated with LBW or SGA for male infants. Adverse effects on susceptible populations exposed to high levels of PAEs should be of concern.
ASJC Scopus subject areas