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Consumer Resources



Phthalates are a family of compounds used to soften plastics and make vinyl soft and pliant, in a wide variety of applications including:  garden hoses and sports equipment, energy-efficient roofing, flexible adhesives and sealants, wire and cable insulation, flooring and wall coverings.

Phthalates are primarily used to soften PVC or vinyl and are used in hundreds of products in our homes, hospitals, cars and businesses.

Colorless, odorless phthalates are not only cost effective, but also highly suitable for many flexible vinyl products. Some of their key characteristics include: durability, flexibility, weather resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures.

Phthalates Information Sheet

Phthalates have been thoroughly studied and reviewed by a number of government scientific agencies and regulatory bodies world-wide and these agencies have concluded that phthalates used in commercial products do not pose a risk to human health at typical exposure levels. Information collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the last 10 years indicates that, despite the fact that phthalates are used in many products, exposure is extremely low—significantly lower than any levels of concern set by regulatory agencies.

Timeline of Regulatory Reviews

The September 2012 report from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing found that current exposures to the phthalate DINP do not indicate a health concern for children, even at the highest exposure levels considered.

Specifically, the report concludes:

  Current risk estimates do not indicate a health concern from exposure of children to DINP in toys and child-care articles even at the highest (reasonable worst-case) exposure scenario considered.  

Q&A: Australian Government Report on DINP

The phthalates DINP, DIDP and DPHP can be found in flexible vinyl applications across a broad range of industries and in hundreds of applications in our homes, cars and businesses.

DIDP Information Sheet
DPHP Information Sheet
DINP Information Sheet

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