LIFE PERSUADED project is focused on environmental contaminants of industrial origin, Bisphenol A (BPA), and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), extensively used as plasticizers. Both are non-persistent compounds known as endocrine disruptors (EDs). Despite the restrictions imposed in their use, they are continuously released and regularly detected in the environment and in food. They can reach humans through different ways, and, as EDs, they can cause health effects, in particular if the exposure occurs during childhood.
The main project objective was to evaluate the exposure of Italian children population and their mothers to DEHP (as sum of its metabolites: MEHP, 5OH-MEHP and 5oxo-MEHP) and BPA through a nationwide human biomonitoring (HBM) study, mapping different exposure scenarios in children in relation to age (4-6; 7-10 and 11-14 years old), sex, according to the residence in rural or urban areas in North, Centre and South Italy. As a second objective, the association between the exposure to DEHP and/or BPA and dysregulation of pubertal development (idiopathic premature thelarche and precocious puberty) as well as idiopathic children obesity has been explored by two children case-control studies. The in vivo toxicological study was the third objective, aimed at identifying mode of actions and specific effects of DEHP and BPA on juvenile rats.