Exposure of the French population to bisphenols, phthalates, parabens, glycol ethers, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated compounds in 2014-2016: results from the Esteban study

Publié le 12 janvier 2021
Mis à jour le 19 janvier 2021

Background: as part of the French Human Biomonitoring (HBM) programme, the Esteban study described, among other things, biomarkers levels of various chemicals in adults (18-74 years old) and children (6-17 years old). This paper describes the design of the study and provides, for the first time, data on the biological exposure of the general French population to a wide range of contaminants posing a threat to human health which are currently found in domestic environments. Methods: Esteban is a cross-sectional study conducted on a nationwide sample of the French general population. Exposure biomarkers of six families of contaminants deemed detrimental to adults" and children's health were measured in biological samples collected either at participants" homes by a nurse, or brought to a National Health Insurance examination centre. All participants were randomly selected (2503 adults and 1104 children). The geometric mean and percentiles of the distribution of levels were estimated for each biomarker. Most of the descriptive statistical analyses were performed taking into account the sampling design. Results: results provided a nationwide description of biomarker levels. Bisphenols (A, S and F), and some metabolites of phthalates and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) (specifically, PFOS and PFOA) were quantified in almost all the biological samples analysed. Higher levels were observed in children (except for PFCs). Levels were coherent with international studies, except for bisphenols S and F, brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and parabens (with higher levels reported in the USA than in France). Conclusion and perspectives: this study is the first to provide a representative assessment of biological exposure to domestic contaminants at the French population level. Our results show that the French general population was exposed to a wide variety of pollutants in 2014-2016, and identify the determinants of exposure. These findings will be useful to stakeholders who wish to advocate an overall reduction in the French population's exposure to harmful substances. Similar future studies in France will help to measure temporal trends, and enable public policies focused on the reduction of those chemicals in the environment to be evaluated.

Auteur : Fillol Clémence, Oleko Amivi, Saoudi Abdesattar, Zeghnoun Abdelkrim, Balicco Alexis, Gane Jessica, Rambaud Loïc, Leblanc Alain, Gaudreau Éric, Marchand Philippe, Le Bizec Bruno, Bouchart Valérie, Le Gléau Florent, Durand Gaël, Denys Sébastien
Environment International, 2021, vol. 147, p. 1-13