Exposure of premature neonates to bisphenol A and phthalates at the intensive care unit: accumulation in hair and long-term neurodevelopmentel and pulmonary toxicity. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2023


- Premature neonates are extremely vulnerable to external insults. - Bisphenol A and phthalates (DEHP) are plasticizers, used in soft plastics to increase their elasticity and extend their lifetime. - Leaching of plasticizers from indwelling medical devices used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) might expose neonates to these chemicals at levels far exceeding tolerable daily dose recommendations. - Although awareness of these plasticizers is growing, they are still used in many medical devices in NICU. They are prohibited in the production of toys intended for children under 3 years of age, but legislation about their use in medical devices isn't strict or clear. - The studied plasticizers have toxic effects on neuronal and pulmonary cells, as proven in in vitro and in vivo (animal and human) models. - This project aims to explore the utility of plasticizer levels in an emerging non-invasive matrix (hair) as a diagnostic tool for cumulative and past exposure in the neonatal intensive care unit. - The possibility that this matrix can detect past exposure in this vulnerable population is a novel approach and is expected to provide fresh insights into the detection of past exposure to chemicals. - Based on these pathophysiological effects, we hypothesize that exposure to these plasticizers during the NICU stay contributes to the long-lasting impaired (neurocognitive and lung) development that is frequently observed in neonates after discharge from NICU.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project