Plastic products are closely intertwined with modern life. Some plasticizers used in making plastics, such as phthalates, are reported to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Plasticizers can be released into the environment, and health risks related to plasticizer exposure have been reported. In addition, due to plastic waste that flows into the ocean, microplastics have been found in marine products, including non-biological seawater products such as sea salt. Plastics can affect the body via a variety of pathways, and therefore safer alternative chemicals are needed. Three chemicals were evaluated: acetyl tributyl citrate (ATBC), triethyl 2-acetylcitrate (ATEC), and trihexyl O-acetylacitrate (ATHC), replacing bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), a typical plasticizer. The endocrine-disrupting activities of each chemical, including estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity (test guideline (TG) No. 455), androgenic or anti-androgenic activity (TG No. 458), steroidogenesis (TG No. 456), and estrogenic properties via a short-term screening test using the uterotrophic assay (TG No. 440), were assessed in accordance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines for chemical testing. Our results showed that DEHP, ATBC, ATEC, ATHC possess no estrogenic activity, whereas DEHP, ATBC and ATHC demonstrate anti-estrogenic activity and ATBC anti-androgenic activity. DEHP and ATHC exhibited a disruption in steroidogenesis activities. Additional tests are necessary, but our results suggest that ATEC is a good candidate plasticizer providing a suitable alternative to DEHP.
- Alternative material
- Endocrine disruptor