Neighborhood factors and urinary metabolites of nicotine, phthalates, and dichlorobenzene

Maida P. Galvez, Kathleen McGovern, Susan L. Teitelbaum, Gayle Windham, Mary S. Wolff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Exposures to environmental chemicals are ubiquitous in the US. Little is known about how neighborhood factors contribute to exposures. Methods: Growing Up Healthy is a prospective cohort study of environmental exposures and growth and development among Hispanic and African American children (n = 506) in New York City. We sought to determine associations between neighborhood-level factors (eg, housing type, school, time spent indoors versus outdoors) and urinary biomarkers of chemical exposures suspected to be associated with these characteristics (cotinine, 2, 5-dichlorophenol, and phthalate metabolites) adjusted by age, sex, race, and caregiver education and language. Results: Urinary cotinine concentrations revealed a prevalent exposure to secondhand smoke; children living in public housing had higher concentrations than those in private housing. In homes with 1 smoker versus none, we found significant differences in urinary cotinine concentrations by housing, although not in homes with 2 or more smokers. Children in charter or public schools had higher urinary cotinine concentrations than those in private schools. School type was associated with exposures to both low- and high-molecular-weight phthalates, and concentrations of both exposure biomarkers were higher for children attending public versus private school. 2, 5-Dichlorophenol concentrations declined from 2004 to 2007 (P = .038) and were higher among charter school children. Conclusions: Housing and school type are associated with chemical exposures in this minority, inner city population. Understanding the role of neighborhood on environmental exposures can lead to targeted community-level interventions, with the goal of reducing environmental chemical exposures disproportionately seen in urban minority communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S87-S95
StatePublished - Jan 2018


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