MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Melamine, cyanuric acid, and other aromatic amines are frequently detected in pregnant women from diverse cohorts, according to a study published online Aug. 30 in Chemosphere.

Giehae Choi, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues measured melamine, melamine derivatives, and aromatic amine exposure in pregnant women and examined associations with participant and urine sample collection characteristics. During 2008 to 2020, 43 analytes, representing 45 chemicals, were measured in urine from 171 pregnant women in nine diverse cohorts.

The researchers found that 12 chemicals were detected in more than 60 percent of samples, with cyanuric acid, melamine, aniline, 4,4′-methylenedianiline, and a composite of o-toluidine and m-toluidine detected in 99 to 100 percent of samples. Most chemicals were associated with higher exposures among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black participants in multivariable models. Concentrations of 3,4-dichloroaniline were higher among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black versus non-Hispanic White women. Results were similar for ammelide, o-/m-toluidine, 4,4′-methylenedianiline, and 4-chloroaniline. Positive associations were seen for most chemicals with urinary cotinine, with the strongest associations for o-/m-toluidine and 3,4-dichloroaniline. Annual trends or time of day, seasonal, and geographic variability were exhibited by some chemicals.

“Our findings raise concerns for the health of pregnant women and fetuses, since some of these chemicals are known carcinogens and potential developmental toxicants,” Choi said in a statement. “Regulatory action is clearly needed to limit exposure.”

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