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Alternatives to Certain Phthalates Partnership

Partnership Homepage | About This Project | Milestones | Participants

Phthalates are used in industrial and consumer products, primarily as plasticizers in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. They are also used in medical devices, beauty products, textiles, paints, food packaging, dental material, and paper. DfE has convened a multi-stakeholder partnership to explore the human health and environmental profiles of the following eight phthalates and potential functional alternatives:

CASRN CA Index Name Acronym Common Name
84-74-2 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-dibutyl ester DBP Dibutyl phthalate
84-69-5 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-bis-(2-methylpropyl) DIBP Diisobutyl phthalate
85-68-7 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1-butyl 2- (phenylmethyl) ester BBP Butyl benzyl phthalate
131-18-0 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylid acid, 1,2-dipentyl ester DnPP Di-n-pentyl phthalate
117-81-7 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-bis(2-eethylhexyl) ester DEHP Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
117-84-0 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-dioctyl ester DnOP Di-n-octyl phthalate
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-diisononyl ester
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C8-C10-branched alkyl esters, C9-rich
DINP and associated chemical* Diisononyl phthalate
Di-(C9-rich branched C8-C10-alkyl) phthalate
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 1,2-diisodecyl ester
1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C9-C11-branchedalkyl esters, C10-rich
DIDP and associated chemical* Diisodecyl phthalate
Di-(C10-rich branched C9-C11-alkyl) phthalate

Stakeholder participation from a range of interest groups is aimed at ensuring that the full range of views is considered from the start of the project and that they are incorporated appropriately into the project objective and methodology. The goal is for the resulting information to help inform the process of substituting safer alternatives, with reduced health and environmental concerns, for these phthalate chemicals.

Why is DfE conducting an alternatives assessment?

EPA is concerned about certain phthalates due to their toxicity and the evidence of pervasive human and environmental exposure to these chemicals. A number of phthalates have been detected in biomonitoring surveys of human tissues, indicating widespread human exposure (CDC 2009).  Adverse effects on the development of the reproductive system in male laboratory animals are the most sensitive health outcomes from phthalate exposure. Several studies have shown associations between phthalate exposures and adverse human health effects, although no causal link has been established. Recent scientific attention has focused on whether the cumulative effect of several phthalates may multiply the reproductive effects in the organism exposed.

EPA is conducting a Design for the Environment alternatives assessment to develop information that could be used:
  • To encourage industry to move away from phthalates in a non-regulatory setting.
  • To expand risk management efforts beyond whatever regulatory action might be taken under TSCA.
  • To use as input to a regulatory action. The alternatives assessment will build upon existing knowledge and will consider exposures to all human subpopulations, including children. Additionally, environmental exposures will be considered.
How do I get more information?
If you are interested in participating in this partnership, or if you would like more information, please contact Cal Baier-Anderson of DfE at 202-564-1933 or baier-anderson.caroline@epa.gov

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