A new article published online on December 24, 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Food Research International examines phthalate migration from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and assesses phthalate exposure among children via bottled water ingestion. Researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran measured dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7) and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) in six brands of PET-bottled water under various storage conditions. Daily dietary intakes of phthalates in the target population of infants, toddlers and preschool children were estimated based on the measured phthalate concentrations and water consumption rates. The results show that increase in temperature and storage duration affected phthalate migration. However, the level of DEHP, the most abundant phthalate, was always very low and did not exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0.006 mg/L for drinking water established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The estimated exposure to individual phthalates through water intake was extremely low (0.002-1.1% of the Tolerable Daily Intake, TDI) and was considered safe even for the worst storage conditions (high temperature of 40°C). The authors thus conclude that the risk of adverse health effects from exposure to phthalates in PET-bottled water are negligible and thus not a matter of health concern.

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Jeddi, M.Z. et al. (2014). “Concentrations of phthalates in bottled water under common storage conditions: do they pose a health risk to children?Food Research International (available online December 24, 2014).