In an article published on July 8, 2015 by Chemistry World, the print and online magazine of the Royal Society of Chemistry, journalist Ida Emilie Steinmark reports on a new study that associates exposure to phthalate replacements with increased blood pressure in children and adolescents. The study was published in the August 2015 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Hypertension. Researchers Leonardo Trasande and Teresa M. Attina from New York University, U.S., found that increased urinary levels of diisononyl phthalate (DINP, CAS 28553-12-0) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP, CAS 26761-40-0) in 1329 U.S. children aged between eight and 19 significantly correlate with increased systolic blood pressure. In a previous study, the researchers also found an association between increased levels of DINP and insulin resistance. DINP and DIDP are used as replacements for diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7). DEHP is the most commonly used plasticizer but is banned in the EU and the U.S. at levels greater than 0.1% in toys and child care products because it is an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). Therefore it is increasingly being replaced by alternative plasticizers that are supposed to be safe. Also, DINP and DIDP are banned in concentrations over 0.1% in toys which can be placed in children’s mouths. However, the researchers suggest phthalates can leak into food when plastic food containers are heated, which could be another source of these chemicals. Considering their results, the researchers call for regulatory changes to make sure that chemicals are sufficiently tested for toxicity before they are placed on the market.
Ida Emilie Steinmark (July 8, 2015). “Phthalate replacements linked to child health problems.” Chemistry World
Trasande, L. & Attina, T. M. (2015). “Association of Exposure to Di-2-Ethylhexylphthalate Replacements With Increased Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents.” Hypertension 66: 301-308.
Trasande, L. & Attina, T. M. (2015). “Association of Exposure to Di-2-Ethylhexylphthalate Replacements With Increased Insulin Resistance in Adolescents From NHANES 2009–2012.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 100:7, 2640-2650.