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Phthalates in Every-Day-Life Products: Safe or Not

I have known the fact of how dangerous phthalates are for quite a while. Watching it on the news today shook my peace, and I felt urgent to share facts about phthalates with you.” Nadya Tatsch

Phthalates are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.

phthalates in products

Phthalates are found in

  • enteric coatings of pharmaceutical pills
  • nutritional supplements
  • viscosity control agents
  • gelling agents
  • film formers
  • stabilizers
  • dispersants
  • lubricants
  • binders
  • emulsifying agents
  • adhesives and glues
  • electronics
  • agricultural adjuvants
  • building materials
  • personal-care products ((Diethyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate))
  • cosmetics (Diethyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate)
  • medical devices
  • detergents and surfactants
  • packaging
  • children’s toys
  • modelling clay
  • waxes
  • paints
  • printing inks and coatings
  • pharmaceuticals
  • food products
  • textiles

Source: and CNBC 12/26/2012

Exposure to Phthalates

is easily released into the environment. As plastics age and break down, the release of phthalates accelerates. Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Diet is believed to be the main source of di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) and other phthalates in the general population. Fatty foods such as milk, butter, and meats are a major source.

Health Effects from Phthalates Usage are

·         Asthma and allergies, especially in babies and children. “Young infants are more vulnerable to the potential adverse effects of phthalates given their increased dosage per unit body surface area, metabolic capabilities, and developing endocrine and reproductive systems.” (^ Sathyanarayana S, Karr CJ, Lozano P, et al. (February 2008). “Baby care products: possible sources of infant phthalate exposure”. Pediatrics 121 (2): e260–8. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-3766. PMID 18245401.

·         Breast cancer because of the increased cosmetic use (

·         High doses have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects. (Source:

Table of the most common phthalates

Name Acronym Structural formula CAS No.
Dimethyl phthalate DMP C6H4(COOCH3)2 131-11-3
Diethyl phthalate DEP C6H4(COOC2H5)2 84-66-2
Diallyl phthalate DAP C6H4(COOCH2CH=CH2)2 131-17-9
Di-n-propyl phthalate DPP C6H4[COO(CH2)2CH3]2 131-16-8
Di-n-butyl phthalate DBP C6H4[COO(CH2)3CH3]2 84-74-2
Diisobutyl phthalate DIBP C6H4[COOCH2CH(CH3)2]2 84-69-5
Butyl cyclohexyl phthalate BCP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COOC6H11 84-64-0
Di-n-pentyl phthalate DNPP C6H4[COO(CH2)4CH3]2 131-18-0
Dicyclohexyl phthalate DCP C6H4[COOC6H11]2 84-61-7
Butyl benzyl phthalate BBP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COOCH2C6H5 85-68-7
Di-n-hexyl phthalate DNHP C6H4[COO(CH2)5CH3]2 84-75-3
Diisohexyl phthalate DIHxP C6H4[COO(CH2)3CH(CH3)2]2 146-50-9
Diisoheptyl phthalate DIHpP C6H4[COO(CH2)4CH(CH3)2]2 41451-28-9
Butyl decyl phthalate BDP CH3(CH2)3OOCC6H4COO(CH2)9CH3 89-19-0
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP, DOP C6H4[COOCH2CH(C2H5)(CH2)3CH3]2 117-81-7
Di(n-octyl) phthalate DNOP C6H4[COO(CH2)7CH3]2 117-84-0
Diisooctyl phthalate DIOP C6H4[COO(CH2)5CH(CH3)2]2 27554-26-3
n-Octyl n-decyl phthalate ODP CH3(CH2)7OOCC6H4COO(CH2)9CH3 119-07-3
Diisononyl phthalate DINP C6H4[COO(CH2)6CH(CH3)2]2 28553-12-0
Di(2-Propyl Heptyl) phthalate DPHP C6H4[COOCH2CH(CH2CH2CH3)(CH2)4CH3]2 53306-54-0
Diisodecyl phthalate DIDP C6H4[COO(CH2)7CH(CH3)2]2 26761-40-0
Diundecyl phthalate DUP C6H4[COO(CH2)10CH3]2 3648-20-2
Diisoundecyl phthalate DIUP C6H4[COO(CH2)8CH(CH3)2]2 85507-79-5
Ditridecyl phthalate DTDP C6H4[COO(CH2)12CH3]2 119-06-2
Diisotridecyl phthalate DIUP C6H4[COO(CH2)10CH(CH3)2]2 68515-47-9


What’s Safe?

Phthalates are banned in CA. According to American Chemistry Council, phthalates are not unsafe in a small amount. (Source: According to my common sense, why risk at all. Find safe alternatives. Before buying, read labels and avoid products that include phthalates.

Source: CNBC 12/26/2012

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A Wake-Up Story from Healthy Child Healthy World on Vimeo.



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