NIH Director's Seminar: Phthalate exposure and preterm birth — Findings from a pooled study of 16 US cohorts


Dr. Kelly Ferguson

Wilson Hall, NIH Building 1; and NIH Videocast

The February 2024 edition of the NIH Director's Seminar Series will be presented by IRP senior investigator Kelly Ferguson, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Phthalates diesters are found ubiquitously in personal care products and plastics, and human exposure is widespread. Exposure in pregnancy is of particular concern due to the endocrine activity and suspected reproductive toxicity of these compounds.

The Pooled Phthalate and Preterm Birth Study is a collaboration between 16 U.S. cohorts established to better understand the relationship between exposure to phthalates in pregnancy and preterm birth. Under this study, Dr. Ferguson's team investigated three aims. First, they examined the association between prenatal phthalate exposure and preterm birth, as well as the potential benefits of hypothetical interventions to reduce exposures during gestation. Second, they investigated the critical role that racial and ethnic disparities in phthalate exposure may play in these associations. Finally, they examined periods of susceptibility to exposure across the dynamic course of pregnancy.

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This page was last updated on Monday, January 22, 2024