Environmental Pollution ( IF 6.792 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-21 , DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116043 Chun Li; Yang Zhao; Shan Liu; Dongfeng Yang; Huimin Ma; Zhou Zhu; Li Kang; Shaoyou Lu
Parabens are added into foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PCPs) as additives extensively due to their excellent antiseptic and antibacterial effects. In the past decade, parabens have raised great concerns on their potential harm to humans. Existing studies have suggested positive correlations between PCP application and urinary paraben concentrations in females, but little is known about paraben exposure levels and health risks arising from PCP use. In this study, 150 PCP samples covering eleven categories were collected from South China and measured for the concentrations of five parabens, including methyl paraben (MeP), ethyl paraben (EtP), propyl paraben (PrP), butyl paraben (BuP) and benzyl paraben (BeP). Parabens were widely detected in PCPs, with a detection frequency of 100%, 99.3%, 80.0%, 74.0% and 13.3%, for MeP, EtP, PrP, BuP and BeP, respectively. The median concentration of Σ5parabens was 126 μg/g with a range of 6.38-424 μg/g across all PCP samples. The contents of MeP, EtP and PrP measured in leave-on PCPs were obviously higher than those in the rinse-off ones (p<0.05). MeP and PrP were the main paraben analogues, together accounting for 93.6% of Σ5parabens in all PCPs. The daily intakes of parabens through dermal absorption by Chinese adult females estimated by measurements obtained in the present study were 0.15 and 83.2 μg/kg-bw/day on basis of the application of rinse-off and leave-on PCPs, respectively. Among the eleven categories, sunscreen, body lotion and mask constituted the main exposure sources of parabens to females. The hazard quotients of parabens were far less than 1, indicating no considerable health risk for Chinese adult females.