Associations between repeated measures of urinary phthalate metabolites and biomarkers of oxidative stress in a rural agricultural cohort of children with asthma

Ryan S. Babadi, Anne M. Riederer, Paul D. Sampson, Sheela Sathyanarayana, Terrance J. Kavanagh, Jennifer E. Krenz, Syam S. Andra, Seunghee Kim-Schulze, Karen L. Jansen, Elizabeth Torres, Adriana Perez, Lisa R. Younglove, Maria I. Tchong-French, Catherine J. Karr

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Phthalate exposure is widespread, and studies suggest an adverse relationship with asthma morbidity, including some support for oxidative stress as an underlying pathophysiological mechanism. Urinary phthalate metabolites have been associated with biomarkers of oxidative stress, but data are few in children diagnosed with asthma. We used participant data from the Home Air in Agriculture Pediatric Intervention Trial (HAPI) to examine longitudinal relationships between phthalates and oxidative stress in a cohort of Latino children with asthma residing in an agricultural community. We used linear mixed-effects models to estimate associations between 11 urinary phthalate metabolites (and one summed measure of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) metabolites, ∑DEHP) and two urinary biomarkers of oxidative stress: a biomarker of lipid peroxidation via measure of 8-isoprostane and a biomarker of DNA/RNA oxidative damage via combined measure of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG), and 8-hydroxyguanine. Seventy-nine participants provided 281 observations. In covariate-adjusted models, we observed significant positive relationships between all phthalate metabolites and 8-isoprostane, effect sizes ranging from a 9.3 % (95 % CI: 4.2 %–14.7 %) increase in 8-isoprostane for each 100 % increase (i.e., doubling) of mono-(carboxy-isooctyl) phthalate (MCIOP), to a 21.0 % (95 % CI: 14.3 %–28.2 %) increase in 8-isoprostane for each doubling of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MNBP). For each doubling of mono-(carboxy-isononyl) phthalate (MCINP) and mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP), the DNA/RNA oxidative damage biomarker increased by 6.0 % (95 % CI: 0.2 %–12.2 %) and 6.5 % (95 % CI: 1.4 %–11.9 %), respectively. In conclusion, we provide unique data suggesting phthalate exposure is positively associated with oxidative stress in children with asthma. Our repeat measures provide novel identification of a consistent effect of phthalates on oxidative stress in children with asthma via lipid peroxidation. Confirmation in future studies of children with asthma is needed to enhance understanding of the role of phthalates in childhood asthma morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157493
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2022


  • Asthma
  • Children
  • DNA/RNA damage
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Phthalate exposure


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