As part of its two-tiered Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the first set of
test orders in late 2009 and early 2010 to manufacturers and importers of 67 pesticide chemicals that are, or have been, used as active or inert ingredients. This initial list included five phthalates—dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), and di-2-(ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). EPA has indicated that the 67 substances do not represent a list of “endocrine disruptors” or even “potential endocrine disruptors.”
Importantly, EPA has noted that if a manufacturer receives test orders, one of the response options is that the company “does not and will not sell the chemical for use in pesticide products” and, therefore, is not subject to testing under the order. Under this provision, the ACC member companies who manufacture these five phthalates may not be expected to test.
ACC and the manufacturers of these five phthalates note that much of the information to be collected as part of the Tier 1 testing (and some of the Tier 2 information) requested by EPA currently is available for these substances. Since there is still some concern regarding the ability of some of the EDSP assays to identify primary endocrine effects, these existing data may, in fact, represent a better basis for assessing endocrine disruption potential. The extensive research and reviews that have already been conducted on these five phthalates demonstrate the sound science behind their safety profiles.
As part of our commitment to the safety of our products, and in the interest of informing the public dialogue, ACC is making scientific information on these five substances available through this Web site. ACC member companies will continue to provide robust information in a transparent manner on the chemicals we produce.
A significant number of expert reviews exist on the potential health effects of the five phthalates. Visit Endocrine Disruption for more discussion about the science.