On June 2, 2014 the peer reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health published a new study reviewing the literature on phthalate exposure estimates infant exposure to di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) to exceed the U.S. recommended reference dose (RfD) (Serrano et al 2014). Samantha Serrano and colleagues reviewed 17 studies taking direct measurements of phthalates, 3 epidemiological studies and 3 interventions and estimated daily exposures to phthalates of different groups of the U.S population. The researchers found diethyl phthalate (DEP) to be present at low levels across all food types, whereas DEHP was present at the highest concentrations in meat, fats and dairy products. Serrano and colleagues estimated DEHP exposure to amount to 5.7, 8.1 and 42.1 µg/kg bodyweight and day for women of reproductive age, adolescents and infants, respectively. The estimated exposure level of infants exceeds the reference dose (RfD) of 20 mg/kg bodyweight and day set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Serrano, S. et al. (2014). “Phthalates and diet: a review of the food monitoring and epidemiology data.Environmental Health 13, 43.