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F S Sci ; 3(3): 237-245, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882626


OBJECTIVE: To assess if the unprecedented changes in lifestyle because of the lockdown initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which altered human behavior, and influenced purchase and consumption patterns, may have had an impact on the exposure to phthalates in Indian women undergoing in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF/ICSI). To evaluate if the effects of the strict and lengthy lockdown in India, which promoted the new norms of stay-at-home and work-from-home, closure of beauty parlors, and restriction on public gatherings, may have contributed to a decrease in the exposure to phthalates like dibutyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate. These chemicals are found in many personal care products (PCPs) which include cosmetics and fragrances. To investigate if the extensive use of flexible single-use plastic in personal protective equipment like face masks/gloves and in plastic packaging used for online purchases, food takeaways, and home deliveries of essentials and groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an attempt to provide a contact-free delivery system may have inadvertently led to an increase in exposure to phthalates like di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, di-isononyl phthalate, and di-isodecyl phthalate which are plasticizers used in manufacturing flexible plastic. DESIGN: A comparative study of the levels of six phthalate metabolites detected in follicular fluid (FF) of Indian women undergoing IVF/ICSI 1 year before and immediately after the lockdown initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SETTING: In vitro fertilization center in a large referral hospital in India. PATIENT(S): A total of 176 Indian women seeking treatment for infertility and undergoing oocyte retrieval were included after obtaining consent. Each woman contributed one FF sample to the study. Group A (n = 96) women (mean age, 34.0 [±3.9] years, and mean BMI, 25.4 [±4.8]) had their FF samples collected and screened between January 2019 and mid-March 2020, 1 year before the lockdown. Group B (n = 80) women (mean age, 33.9 [±4.1] years, and mean BMI, 25.0 [±4.4]) had their FF collected and screened post the lockdown between October 2020 and June 2021. Both groups were matched by age and BMI. INTERVENTION(S): The cryopreserved FF samples of 176 women were processed using enzymatic deconjugation as well as the solid-phase extraction technique, and analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to detect the total levels of six phthalate metabolites. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the change in the phthalate metabolite levels in the FF of Indian women undergoing IVF/ICSI pre and post the lockdown. RESULT(S): The median levels of mono-n-butyl phthalate (1.64 ng/ml in group A vs. 0.93 ng/ml in group B; P<.001) and mono-ethyl phthalate (5.25 ng/ml in group A vs. 3.24 ng/ml in group B; P<.001) metabolites of dibutyl phthalate and diethyl phthalate found in PCPs including cosmetics and fragrances were significantly higher in the FF of 96 women (group A) compared with the levels seen in the FF of 80 women (group B). However, the median levels of mono-isononyl phthalate (0.11ng/ml in group A vs. 0.13 ng/ml in group B; P<.001), mono-isodecyl phthalate (0.11 ng/ml in group A vs. 0.14 ng/ml in group B; P<.001), and mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (0.13 ng/ml in group A vs. 0.14 ng/ml in group B; P=.023) metabolites of di-isononyl phthalate, di-isodecyl phthalate, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate used as plasticizers were significantly higher in the FF of women in group B compared with women in group A. CONCLUSION(S): The significant drop in mono-n-butyl phthalate and mono-ethyl phthalate levels, accumulated in the FF of 80 Indian women in group B reflects a decrease or absence of usage patterns of PCPs, including cosmetics and fragrances, thereby suggesting that these women may have deprioritized their use during the COVID-19 pandemic giving preference to personal hygiene and safety. Whereas the unprecedented increase in the use of flexible single-use plastic that became our first line of defense against the coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic might be responsible for the accumulation of significantly higher levels of mono-isononyl phthalate, mono-isodecyl phthalate, and mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate in FF of the same group.

COVID-19 , Cosmetics , Environmental Pollutants , Phthalic Acids , Chromatography, Liquid , Communicable Disease Control , Cosmetics/analysis , Dibutyl Phthalate/metabolism , Environmental Exposure/analysis , Environmental Pollutants/analysis , Female , Follicular Fluid/chemistry , Humans , Life Style , Male , Pandemics , Phthalic Acids/analysis , Plasticizers/analysis , Plastics/analysis , Semen/chemistry , Tandem Mass Spectrometry
J Hazard Mater ; 435: 128980, 2022 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796501


The ingestion and accumulation of microplastics is a serious threat to the health and survival of humans and other organisms given the increasing use of daily-use plastic products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, whether direct microplastic contamination from plastic packaging is a threat to human health remains unclear. We analyzed the market demand for plastic packaging in Asia-Pacific, North America, and Europe and identified the commonly used plastic food packaging products. We found that food containers exposed to high-temperature released more than 10 million microplastics per mL in water. Recycled plastic food packaging was demonstrated to continuously leach micro- and nanoplastics. In vitro cell engulfing experiments revealed that both micro- and nanoplastic leachates are readily taken up by murine macrophages without any preconditioning, and that short-term microplastic exposure may induce inflammation while exposure to nanoplastic substantially suppressed the lysosomal activities of macrophages. We demonstrated that the ingestion of micro- and nanoplastics released from food containers can exert differential negative effects on macrophage activities, proving that the explosive growth in the use of plastic packaging can poses significant health risks to consumers.

COVID-19 , Water Pollutants, Chemical , Animals , Food Packaging , Humans , Lysosomes , Macrophages , Mice , Microplastics/toxicity , Pandemics , Plastics/analysis , Plastics/toxicity , Water Pollutants, Chemical/analysis
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614160


We spotted severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 on polystyrene plastic, aluminum, and glass for 96 hours with and without bovine serum albumin (3 g/L). We observed a steady infectivity (<1 log10 drop) on plastic, a 3.5 log10 decrease on glass, and a 6 log10 drop on aluminum. The presence of proteins noticeably prolonged infectivity.

Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Fomites/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Aluminum/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Glass/analysis , Humans , Pandemics , Plastics/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors