Dibutyl Phthalate Studies (DBP)

Relevance to SWEHSC: 

Human exposure to DBP occurs daily as evidenced by the detection of its metabolites in spot human urine samples from subjects in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  According to exposure estimates the largest source of DBP exposure to the general population is food and has been estimated to range between 7-10 µg/kg/day.  Notably, patients taking medications coated with DBP and workers exposed occupationally have exposure estimates that exceed those in the general population.  Specifically, it is estimated that patients taking medications coated with DBP are exposed to 1-233 µg/kg/day and individuals are exposed occupationally to 0.1-76 µg/kg/day.  Interestingly, human studies have also pointed out that among all age groups, women of reproductive age tend to have higher urinary levels of phthalate metabolites than older women or than men.  DBP is a chemical of concern in the study of breast cancer because it has been shown to bind and activate the estrogen receptor alpha, an important factor that stimulates growth of a large proportion of breast cancers.

Cluster of Efforts: 


  • Zelieann Craig, PhD  

  • Richard Vaillancourt, PhD

  • Dr. Zelieann Craig completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Illinois and is a recipient of a K99/R00 award.  Her research focus is reproductive toxicology.  She is currently investigating the role of dibutly phthalate on mouse ovarian function.  In addition, she and Dr. Vaillancourt have a pending pilot project application to investigate the synergistic effects of dibutly phthalate and EGF in breast cancer cells and mouse mammary gland.