Recent progress in safety evaluation studies on plasticizers and plastics and their controlled use in Japan.
Recent experimental studies in Japan on the evaluation of potential health hazards from phthalate esters used in manufacturing poly (vinyl chloride) as well as several plastics for medical devices and for food containers and packages were introduced. Development of pulmonary granuloma formation after intravenous injection of diethylhexyl phthalate was assumed to be dependent on the particle size of the phthalate in vehicle used. Dietary administration of large amount of diethylhexyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate produced renal cysts in mothers and in descendants in reproduction studies in mice. Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity of the phthalates and several plastics and resins were also examined by in vivo and in vitro studies. Hematological parameters examined in rabbits after repeated intravenous injection of diethylhexyl phthalate and after implantation of plastics in aorta for 3--6 months did not show any significant change. A slow decrease of radioactivity was observed in adipose tissue of rats following oral administration of 14C-labeled diethylhexyl phthalate. tthe administrative action on phthalates by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare is briefly reviewed. (+info
Quantitative evaluation of alternative mechanisms of blood and testes disposition of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in rats.
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), a commercially important plasticizer, induces testicular toxicity in laboratory animals at high doses. After oral exposure, most of the DEHP is rapidly metabolized in the gut to mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), which is the active metabolite for induction of testicular toxicity. To quantify the testes dose of MEHP with various routes of exposure and dose levels, we developed a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for DEHP and MEHP in rats. Tissue:blood partition coefficients for DEHP were estimated from the n-octanol: water partition coefficient, while partition coefficients for MEHP were determined experimentally using a vial equilibration technique. All other parameters were either found in the literature or estimated from blood or tissue levels following oral or intravenous exposure to DEHP or MEHP. A flow-limited model failed to adequately simulate the available data. Alternative plausible mechanisms were explored, including diffusion-limited membrane transport, enterohepatic circulation, and MEHP ionization (pH-trapping model). In the pH-trapping model, only nonionized MEHP is free to become partitioned into the tissues, where it is equilibrated and trapped as ionized MEHP until it is deionized and released. All three alternative models significantly improved predictions of DEHP and MEHP blood concentrations over the flow-limited model predictions. The pH-trapping model gave the best predictions with the largest value of the log likelihood function. Predicted MEHP blood and testes concentrations were compared to measured concentrations in juvenile rats to validate the pH-trapping model. Thus, MEHP ionization may be an important mechanism of MEHP blood and testes disposition in rats. (+info
Plasticizers increase adhesion of the deteriogenic fungus Aureobasidium pullulans to polyvinyl chloride.
Initial adhesion of fungi to plasticized polyvinyl chloride (pPVC) may determine subsequent colonization and biodeterioration processes. The deteriogenic fungus Aureobasidium pullulans was used to investigate the physicochemical nature of adhesion to both unplasticized PVC (uPVC) and pPVC containing the plasticizers dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and dioctyl adipate (DOA). A quantitative adhesion assay using image analysis identified fundamental differences in the mechanism of adhesion of A. pullulans blastospores to these substrata. Adhesion to pPVC was greater than that to uPVC by a maximum of 280% after a 4-h incubation with 10(8) blastospores ml(-1). That plasticizers enhance adhesion to PVC was confirmed by incorporating a dispersion of both DOA and DOP into the blastospore suspension. Adhesion to uPVC was increased by up to 308% in the presence of the dispersed plasticizers. Hydrophobic interactions were found to dominate adhesion to uPVC because (i) a strong positive correlation was observed between substratum hydrophobicity (measured by using a dynamic contact angle analyzer) and adhesion to a range of unplasticized polymers including uPVC, and (ii) neither the pH nor the electrolyte concentration of the suspension buffer, both of which influence electrostatic interactions, affected adhesion to uPVC. In contrast, adhesion to pPVC is principally controlled by electrostatic interactions. Enhanced adhesion to pPVC occurred despite a relative reduction of 13 degrees in the water contact angle of pPVC compared to that of uPVC. Furthermore, adhesion to pPVC was strongly dependent on both the pH and electrolyte concentration of the suspension medium, reaching maximum levels at pH 8 and with an electrolyte concentration of 10 mM NaCl. Plasticization with DOP and DOA therefore increases adhesion of A. pullulans blastospores to pPVC through an interaction mediated by electrostatic forces. (+info
Retrospective evaluation of alpha 2u-globulin accumulation in male rat kidneys following high doses of diisononyl phthalate.
Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), a widely used plasticizer, has been evaluated in two chronic studies in rats and one in mice. In the early 1980s, Exxon found no carcinogenic potential at the estimated maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of 0.6% (307 mg/kg/ day for male rats) administered in the diet of rats for 2 years. A recent study conducted at dietary levels up to 1.2% DINP (733 mg/kg/d for male rats) reported kidney tumors in male rats at the high treatment level, but not in female rats nor mice of either sex. Because these tumors occurred only in male rats, and only at high doses, the male rat-specific alpha 2u-globulin (alpha2UG) mechanism of action was investigated. Technological advances in immunohistochemical staining and computerized image analysis techniques permitted measuring the accumulation of alpha2UG in archived kidneys from the earlier Exxon study. Using archived tissue obtained at the 12-month interim sacrifice, we identified a dose-dependent accumulation of alpha2UG in specific regions of male rat kidneys only. An increase in cell proliferation was confirmed by immunohistochemical detection of proliferating-cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and was confined to the areas of alpha2UG accumulation. H and E-stained sections revealed tubular epithelial hypertrophy and regeneration, consistent with the immunohistopathology findings. These findings are consistent with the alpha2UG mechanism of tumorigenesis, which is not regarded as relevant for humans. Thus, exposure to DINP produced a dose-dependent alpha2UG accumulation in male rat kidneys, significant at a dietary level of 0.6% and a likely mechanism for the kidney tumors seen only in male rats administered higher dietary levels of DINP. (+info
Influence of plasticizer-free CAPD bags and tubings on serum, urine, and dialysate levels of phthalic acid esters in CAPD patients.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of a plasticizer-free device on exposure to di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and its major metabolites in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). DEHP is the most commonly used plasticizer in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products; it is added to CAPD bags in order to improve the flexibility of the material. Since DEHP leaches out of the plastic matrix, patients on CAPD are exposed to considerable amounts of DEHP and its metabolites. DESIGN: A prospective cross-over study. SETTING: Department of nephrology in a teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Six patients (4 female, 2 male) stable on peritoneal dialysis (PD) for at least 6 months. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were switched from a plasticizer-containing PVC CAPD system (A.N.D.Y. Plus, Fresenius Medical Care, Bad Homburg, Germany) to a polyolefine-made plasticizer-free system (stay-safe, Fresenius). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prior to and 42 days after the switch, 24-hour effluent dialysate and urine collections were performed and 10 mL blood was drawn. Concentrations of DEHP, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), phthalic acid (PA), and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) in urine, dialysate, and serum were determined using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Complete data were obtained from 5 patients. Serum levels of PA decreased significantly during the study period (0.137 +/- 0.078 mg/L vs 0.124 +/- 0.049 mg/L, p = 0.04), and the respective levels of DEHP decreased insignificantly (0.097 +/- 0.076 mg/L vs 0.069 +/- 0.046 mg/L, p = 0.07), whereas the concentrations of MEHP and 2-EH remained unchanged. Urine concentrations of PA were high (0.81 +/- 0.69 mg/L) but did not change substantially (0.70 +/- 0.50 mg/L). Effluent dialysate concentrations of MEHP and PA decreased significantly (0.0176 +/- 0.004 mg/L vs 0.0040 +/- 0.0007 mg/L, p = 0.043 and 0.158 +/- 0.056 mg/L vs 0.111 +/- 0.051 mg/L, p = 0.043, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Although PD patients seem to be exposed to other sources of phthalates in addition to dialysis, use of plasticizer-free devices may help to reduce potentially immunosuppressive exposure to phthalate esters. (+info
Identification of phthalate esters in the serum of young Puerto Rican girls with premature breast development.
Premature breast development (thelarche) is the growth of mammary tissue in girls younger than 8 years of age without other manifestations of puberty. Puerto Rico has the highest known incidence of premature thelarche ever reported. In the last two decades since this serious public health anomaly has been observed, no explanation for this phenomenon has been found. Some organic pollutants, including pesticides and some plasticizers, can disrupt normal sexual development in wildlife, and many of these have been widely used in Puerto Rico. This investigation was designed to identify pollutants in the serum of Puerto Rican girls with premature thelarche. A method for blood serum analysis was optimized and validated using pesticides and phthalate esters as model compounds of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Recovery was > 80% for all compounds. We performed final detection by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. We analyzed 41 serum samples from thelarche patients and 35 control samples. No pesticides or their metabolite residues were detected in the serum of the study or control subjects. Significantly high levels of phthalates [dimethyl, diethyl, dibutyl, and di-(2-ethylhexyl)] and its major metabolite mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate were identified in 28 (68%) samples from thelarche patients. Of the control samples analyzed, only one showed significant levels of di-isooctyl phthalate. The phthalates that we identified have been classified as endocrine disruptors. This study suggests a possible association between plasticizers with known estrogenic and antiandrogenic activity and the cause of premature breast development in a human female population. (+info
The plasticizer diethylhexyl phthalate induces malformations by decreasing fetal testosterone synthesis during sexual differentiation in the male rat.
Phthalate esters (PE) such as DEHP are high production volume plasticizers used in vinyl floors, food wraps, cosmetics, medical products, and toys. In spite of their widespread and long-term use, most PE have not been adequately tested for transgenerational reproductive toxicity. This is cause for concern, because several recent investigations have shown that DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DINP disrupt reproductive tract development of the male rat in an antiandrogenic manner. The present study explored whether the antiandrogenic action of DEHP occurs by (1) inhibiting testosterone (T) production, or by (2) inhibiting androgen action by binding to the androgen receptor (AR). Maternal DEHP treatment at 750 mg/kg/day from gestational day (GD) 14 to postnatal day (PND) 3 caused a reduction in T production, and reduced testicular and whole-body T levels in fetal and neonatal male rats from GD 17 to PND 2. As a consequence, anogenital distance (AGD) on PND 2 was reduced by 36% in exposed male, but not female, offspring. By GD 20, DEHP treatment also reduced testis weight. Histopathological evaluations revealed that testes in the DEHP treatment group displayed enhanced 3ss-HSD staining and increased numbers of multifocal areas of Leydig cell hyperplasia as well as multinucleated gonocytes as compared to controls at GD 20 and PND 3. In contrast to the effects of DEHP on T levels in vivo, neither DEHP nor its metabolite MEHP displayed affinity for the human androgen receptor at concentrations up to 10 microM in vitro. These data indicate that DEHP disrupts male rat sexual differentiation by reducing T to female levels in the fetal male rat during a critical stage of reproductive tract differentiation. (+info
Application of sintered titanium alloys to metal denture bases: a study of titanium powder sheets for complete denture base.
The purpose of this study was the fabrication of titanium powder sheets to enable the application of sintered titanium alloys as metal denture bases. The effects of titanium particle shape and size, binder content, and plasticizer content on the surface smoothness, tensile strength and elongation of titanium powder sheets was investigated. To select a suitable ratio of powdered metal contents for application as a metal denture base, the effects of aluminum content in Ti sheets and various other powder metal contents in Ti-Al sheets on the density, sintering shrinkage, and bending strength were evaluated. Based on the results of the above experiments, we developed a mixed powder sheet composed of 83Ti-7Al-10Cr with TA45 titanium powder (atomized, -45 microm), and 8 mass% binder content. This titanium alloy sheet had good formability and ductility. Its sintered titanium alloy had a density of 3.2 g/cm3, sintering shrinkage of 3.8%, and bending strength of 403 MPa. The titanium alloy sheet is clinically acceptable for fabricating denture bases. (+info