Phthalates are a family of compounds whose primary use is as a vinyl softener. They are colorless, odorless liquids that do not evaporate readily.
They provide many product and consumer benefits—public health, performance and function—and are used in many important applications for these reasons, from recreational and safety equipment to building and construction materials. They have played a key role in health care since the 1950s, when polyvinyl chloride (PVC), made flexible by the addition of a phthalate, DEHP, revolutionized the task of storing and delivering whole blood to our armed forces and to patients in need of transfusions.
With more than 50 years of research, phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied family of compounds in the world and have been reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies in the United States. The American Chemistry Council is proud that the products of chemistry are among the most thoroughly evaluated and regulated in commerce and continues to support ongoing research into the health and safety of phthalates.