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Exposure of Nail Salon Workers to Phthalates, Di(2-ethylhexyl) Terephthalate, and Organophosphate Esters: A Pilot Study

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journal contribution
posted on 04.12.2019, 14:10 by Jessica A. Craig, Diana M. Ceballos, Victoria Fruh, Zoe E. Petropoulos, Joseph G. Allen, Antonia M. Calafat, Maria Ospina, Heather M. Stapleton, Stephanie Hammel, Rebecca Gray, Thomas F. Webster
Relatively little is known about the exposure of nail technicians to semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in nail salons. We collected preshift and postshift urine samples and silicone wrist bands (SWBs) worn on lapels and wrists from 10 female nail technicians in the Boston area in 2016–17. We analyzed samples for phthalates, phthalate alternatives, and organophosphate esters (OPEs) or their metabolites. Postshift urine concentrations were generally higher than preshift concentrations for SVOC metabolites; the greatest change was for a metabolite of the phthalate alternative di­(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DEHTP): mono­(2-ethyl-5-carboxypentyl) terephthalate (MECPTP) more than tripled from 11.7 to 36.6 μg/g creatinine. DEHTP biomarkers were higher in our study participants’ postshift urine compared to 2015–2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey females. Urinary MECPTP and another DEHTP metabolite were moderately correlated (r = 0.37–0.60) with DEHTP on the SWBs, suggesting occupation as a source of exposure. Our results suggest that nail technicians are occupationally exposed to certain phthalates, phthalate alternatives, and OPEs, with metabolites of DEHTP showing the largest increase across a work day. The detection of several of these SVOCs on SWBs suggests that they can be used as a tool for examining potential occupational exposures to SVOCs among nail salon workers.