Abstract

Paraben derivatives are widely used as an antifungal, antimicrobial preservative in cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals, and food. These molecules are called endocrine disruptors (EDCs). The exposure of the human body to paraben derivatives needs further study and for this purpose 200 urine samples were collected from Tunisian men and women aged between 5 and 90 years to determine three paraben derivatives: methylparaben (MP), ethylparaben (EP) and propylparaben (PP) using ultra performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS). The three major parabens were found in 95 urine samples. The obtained results indicate that MP, EP, and PP were detected in 57%, 46%, and 40% of all samples, respectively. Urinary concentration for the three parabens was in the range of 0.88–84.46 ng/mL, 0.52–29.2 ng/mL, and 0.51–28.17 ng/mL of PP, MP, and EP, respectively. In addition, the concentrations of the paraben derivatives in women were higher than those of men. These findings indicate that the exposure occurs from common products (foods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals). The Tunisian authorities should control the composition of packaging of these common products in order to protect humans against EDC.

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