Recent studies indicate an association between the use of paracetamol during pregnancy and reproductive disorders in male offspring. Furthermore, N-acetyl-4-aminophenol (NAAP, paracetamol) has been shown to be ubiquitously excreted in urine samples of the general population. To investigate the internal body burden of the Danish population to NAAP for the first time, 288 morning urine samples from 6- to 11-year-old Danish school children and their mothers were analyzed for NAAP. NAAP was measurable in all mothers and all of the children except for one child. Results showed that there is a ubiquitous body burden of NAAP in Danish mothers and children even when paracetamol analgesics have not been used recently. Hence, several unknown sources of NAAP/paracetamol exposure have to exist. We found an association in NAAP excretion between the mothers and their children which could indicate common lifestyle related exposure (e.g. via food or indoor air sources). However, we did not detect any association between lifestyle data from questionnaires and levels of NAAP excretion in this study. The knowledge about possible sources of exposure leading to this omnipresent paracetamol excretion is limited and further investigation is wanted.
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 2015, Vol 218, Issue 1, p. 28-33