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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 649314, 13 pages
Research Article

Measurement of Urinary Biomarkers of Parabens, Benzophenone-3, and Phthalates in a Belgian Population

1Laboratory of Clinical, Forensic and Environmental Toxicology, University of Liege (ULg), CHU (B35), 4000 Liege, Belgium
2Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Medicines (CIRM), University of Liege (ULg), CHU (B35), 4000 Liege, Belgium

Received 19 November 2013; Accepted 15 January 2014; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Gérald E. Piérard

Copyright © 2014 Lucas Dewalque et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Parabens, benzophenone-3 (BP3), and phthalates are commonly used as antimicrobial conservator, UV-filter, and plasticizer, respectively, and are thought to exhibit endocrine disrupting properties. These endocrine disrupting activities have been recently assumed to lead to cutaneous malignant melanoma. Humans are exposed to these chemicals through different sources such as food, personal care products, or cosmetics. In this study, we measured urinary levels of 4 parabens, BP3, and 7 metabolites of phthalates in samples collected from 261 participants living in and around Liege (Belgium). The analyses were carried out by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using isotopic dilution. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the urinary levels of these 3 classes of chemicals are reported for the same general population in Belgium. Most of the parabens, the BP3, and all the phthalate metabolites were detected in 82.8 to 100.0% of the samples. For most of these chemicals, the exposure patterns significantly differ not only between children and adults, but also between males and females, especially with higher concentrations of parabens and phthalate metabolites in female and children subjects, respectively.