Cross-sectional associations between urinary triclosan and serum thyroid function biomarker concentrations in women

Julianne Skarha, Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, Paige L. Williams, Tim I.M. Korevaar, Ralph A. de Poortere, Maarten A.C. Broeren, Jennifer B. Ford, Melissa Eliot, Russ Hauser, Joseph M. Braun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: Exposure to the antimicrobial agent triclosan is ubiquitous. Research in animals shows that triclosan can cause decreases in thyroxine concentrations. However, the potential effects of triclosan on thyroid function in humans are unclear. Objective: To estimate the association between urinary triclosan concentrations and serum thyroid function biomarkers in women seeking assisted reproduction treatment in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 317 women enrolled in the EARTH Study, a prospective preconception cohort that recruits Boston area couples. Using samples collected at study entry, we quantified urinary triclosan and serum thyroid function biomarker concentrations, specifically free and total thyroxine and triiodothyronine, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and thyroid antibodies. We estimated covariate-adjusted differences in thyroid function biomarkers per 10-fold increase in triclosan using linear regression models. We examined effect modification by body mass index (BMI) and infertility diagnosis. Results: The median urinary triclosan concentration was 7.8 μg/L (IQR: 3.0–59 μg/L). Each 10-fold increase in triclosan was inversely associated with free triidothyronine (T3) (β: −0.06 pg/mL; 95% CI: −0.1, −0.01), thyroperoxidase antibody (TPOAb) (−10%; 95% CI: −19, −0.4), and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) (−12%; 95% CI: −23,0.9) concentrations. BMI and infertility diagnosis modified the association of triclosan with free T3 and TPOAb, respectively. Conclusion: Urinary triclosan concentrations were inversely associated with specific serum thyroid function biomarkers in this cohort, suggesting that triclosan may affect thyroid homeostasis and autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment international
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ( R01 ES024381 and R01 ES027408 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


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