In December 2018 researchers from South Korea published the results of their study to assess the effect of phthalate exposure on pulmonary function and airway inflammation in 56 children, aged 6-16 years, who had been diagnosed with asthma. Their pulmonary function, including forced expiratory volume and peak flow rate were measured, and the exhaled level of nitric oxide (as a marker of airway inflammation) assessed up to four times during the study period. In addition, urinary levels of the mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate, mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate, and mono-n-butyl phthalate were measured on the same days. Results showed that an increase in the urinary levels of phthalates was associated with a decrease in pulmonary function. It was noted that when the urinary level of phthalates increased, airway inflammation increased on the same day whereas the peak flow rate was affected on the following day.
Kim YM et al. Exposure to phthalates aggravates pulmonary function and airway inflammation in asthmatic children. PLoS One. 2018 Dec 17;13(12):e0208553