The Federal German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the German Ministry for the Environment (UBA) trace exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) principally back to diet. On May 7, 2013 the BfR published a press release on a study investigating the exposure to DEHP in the German population, which it carried out on request of UBA. The BfR evaluated different routes of exposure including 37 food groups, dust, toys and other consumer products using data from the past 20 years. It found diet to be the predominant culprit of DEHP exposure in adolescents and adults. Children’s dietary exposure only makes up 50% of overall exposure. It is suggested that exposure may be reduced by consuming freshly cooked rather than prepared meals and changing brands regularly.
DEHP is a plasticizer used in polyvinylchloride (PVC) plastics and is considered a reproductive toxin. Since 2007 it can no longer be used in the packaging of fatty food stuffs under European law.