Prenatal and early-life triclosan and paraben exposure and allergic outcomes

Kathleen Lee-Sarwar, Russ Hauser, Antonia M. Calafat, Xiaoyun Ye, George T. O'Connor, Megan Sandel, Leonard B. Bacharier, Robert S. Zeiger, Nancy Laranjo, Diane R. Gold, Scott T. Weiss, Augusto A. Litonjua, Jessica H. Savage

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41 Scopus citations


Background: In cross-sectional studies triclosan and parabens, ubiquitous ingredients in personal care and other products, are associated with allergic disease. Objectives: We investigated the association between prenatal and early-life triclosan and paraben exposure and childhood allergic disease in a prospective longitudinal study. Methods: Subjects were enrollees in the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial. Triclosan, methyl paraben, and propyl paraben concentrations were quantified in maternal plasma samples pooled from the first and third trimesters and urine samples from children at age 3 or 4 years. Outcomes were parental report of physician-diagnosed asthma or recurrent wheezing and allergic sensitization to food or environmental antigens based on serum specific IgE levels at age 3 years in high-risk children. Results: The analysis included 467 mother-child pairs. Overall, there were no statistically significant associations of maternal plasma or child urine triclosan or paraben concentrations with asthma or recurrent wheeze or food or environmental sensitization at age 3 years. A trend toward an inverse association between triclosan and paraben exposure and allergic sensitization was observed. There was evidence of effect measure modification by sex, with higher odds of environmental sensitization associated with increasing paraben concentrations in male compared with female subjects. Conclusions: We did not identify a consistent association between prenatal and early-life triclosan or paraben concentrations and childhood asthma, recurrent wheeze, or allergic sensitization in the overall study population. The differential effects of triclosan or paraben exposure on allergic sensitization by sex observed in this study warrant further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278.e15
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Triclosan
  • asthma
  • paraben
  • prenatal sensitization


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