Association between phthalates and attention deficit disorder and learning disability in U.S. children, 6-15 years.

Increased exposure to phthalate may elevate the risk of developing attention deficit disorder alone and both attention deficit disorder and learning disability in children.

This study examined the correlation between urinary concentrations of phthalate metabolites and the development of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and learning disability (LD) in US children. Researchers analyzed the level of phthalate metabolites dibutyl phthalates and di-2-ethyhexyl phthalates in the urine of 1493 children recently diagnosed with ADD and LD.

Researchers discovered a high incidence of ADD and LD simultaneously and ADD alone in children whose urine samples contain large amounts of dibutyl phthalates and di-2-ethyhexyl phthalates respectively. In addition, the ADD-alone and ADD plus LD-promoting activity of these phthalate metabolites was found to be stronger in girls than in boys. According to this study, no link was found between phthalate metabolites and the development of only LD. The findings of this study provide evidence that certain phthalate metabolites may increase risk of developing either ADD alone or both ADD and LD in children.

Research Summary Information

  • 2014
  • Chopra V, Harley K, Lahiff M, Eskenazi B.
  • Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: choprav@obgyn.ucsf.edu. Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA. Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Electronic address: eskenazi@berkeley.edu.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • Source of funding disclosure found
  • This work was supported by Grants PO1 ES009605 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and RD83451301 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • No potential conflicts disclosure found
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