In an article published on February 10, 2015 by The Guardian, journalist Amy Westervelt discusses the issue of human exposure to phthalates. Westervelt points out that mounting scientific evidence links phthalate exposure to a variety of adverse health effects. Westefelt explains that phthalates have received much attention since 2003 when the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported widespread phthalate exposure of the general population and recommended to investigate the health effects of phthalates. In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and many other conditions. Westervelt stresses that companies must be cautious when using any chemical in the phthalate class and gives an example of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) that was replaced in many consumer products with diisononyl phthalate (DiNP, substance mixture CAS 28553-12-0, 68515-48-0). DiNP was however later shown to pose a risk to the reproductive health of males, similar to DEHP. From the consumer’s point of view, it is difficult to avoid phthalates due to their ubiquitous usage and absence on product labels. For instance, milk in glass bottles may have passed through plastic tubes on its way from the cow to the bottle, taking DEHP along with it. Since they are hard to avoid, a regulatory framework is needed, says Erik Olson from the non-profit organization Natural Resources Defense Council.

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Amy Westervelt (February 10, 2015). “Phthalates are everywhere, and the health risks are worrying. How bad are they really?The Guardian