(HealthDay News) – Soft polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flooring material in an infant’s bedroom, the infant’s body surface area, and the use of infant formula are associated with an infant’s increased uptake of phthalates, which may be linked to several chronic childhood diseases.

Fredrik Carlstedt, MD, PhD, of Universitetsgatan 3 in Karlstad, Sweden, and colleagues investigated the presence of urinary metabolites of the phthalates di-ethyl phthalate, di-butyl phthalate, butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP), and di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in 110 infants aged 2–6 months.

Urine samples were collected from 83 infants. The researchers found that, in infants with PVC flooring in their bedroom, urinary levels of the BBzP metabolite monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) were significantly higher and correlated with the infant’s body surface area. Two-month-old infants who were not exclusively breastfed had significantly higher urinary levels of DEHP metabolites than infants who were breastfed.

“Our results indicate that urinary levels of phthalate metabolites during early life are associated [with] PVC flooring in the bedroom and the use of infant formula. BBzP is a known softener of PVC flooring, and urinary levels of its metabolite MBzP were significantly higher among infants with larger body area and PVC flooring in their bedroom,” the authors write.

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