Predictors and reproducibility of urinary organophosphate ester metabolite concentrations during pregnancy and associations with birth outcomes in an urban population

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6 Scopus citations


Background: Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are synthetic chemicals used as flame retardants and plasticizers in a variety of goods. Despite ubiquitous human exposures and laboratory evidence that prenatal OPE exposures may disrupt offspring metabolism, perinatal studies of OPE health effects are limited. The objectives of this study were to: 1) Determine predictors and reproducibility of urinary OPE biomarker concentrations during pregnancy, and 2) Estimate the relation of prenatal OPE exposures with birth outcomes and cord blood adipokine and insulin concentrations. Methods: We analyzed five OPE metabolites in urine samples collected at up to three visits during pregnancy from 90 women enrolled in the ORigins of Child Health And Resilience in Development (ORCHARD) pregnancy cohort in Baltimore, MD from 2017 to 2019. To quantify the variability of metabolite concentrations during pregnancy, we calculated intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for each metabolite using mixed effects regression models. Using self-reported questionnaire data collected during gestation, we assessed possible sociodemographic and environmental/behavioral predictors of each OPE metabolite using generalized estimating equations to account for repeated exposure measures. We ascertained birth outcomes of 76 offspring from medical records, including weight-for-gestational age, length, ponderal index, and gestational age. In a subset of 37 infants, we measured cord blood concentrations of leptin, adiponectin, and insulin. To account for repeated exposure measures, we used linear structural equation models to assess the relations of standard deviation (SD) increases in prenatal OPE metabolite factor scores with continuous birth outcomes and cord blood biomarker concentrations. Results: ICCs ranged from 0.09 for isopropylphenyl-phenyl phosphate (ip-PPP) to 0.59 for bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP). We observed little consistency in environmental or behavioral predictors of OPE exposures, although concentrations were generally lower for samples collected in the afternoon compared to morning and winter compared to other seasons. In adjusted analyses, a SD increase in BDCIPP concentration was associated with a 0.06 g/cm3 (95% CI: 0.00, 0.12) greater ponderal index. A SD increase in BDCIPP was associated with a 0.37 (95% CI: - 0.62, - 0.13) SD lower insulin concentration and 0.24 (95% CI: - 0.39, - 0.08) SD lower leptin concentration. Other OPEs were not associated with infant outcomes. Conclusions: These findings suggest some OPEs may be metabolic disruptors warranting investigation in larger studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 24 2020


  • Adipokines
  • Birth outcomes
  • Gestational
  • Insulin
  • Organophosphate ester
  • Ponderal index
  • Predictors
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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