Phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied families of compounds in the world. As such, it is not unusual for new studies to be reported every week. While some of these studies have suggested a link between phthalates and various human health effects, none has demonstrated an actual causal link (that phthalates are the cause of the effect). Because phthalates are found in many consumer products, most people are exposed to phthalates every day, but phthalates don’t migrate out of products easily and they don’t accumulate in our bodies. In fact, they begin to breakdown within minutes and are metabolized within 12 to 24 hours.

  • Phthalates are some of the most tested substances in commerce and have been reviewed by a variety of regulatory scientific bodies worldwide, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the European Union (EU) Chemicals Bureau and the Australian National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme in the Department of Health and Ageing (NICNAS), the Australian Government regulator of industrial chemicals.

  • The U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP CERHR) concluded that there was “minimal concern” regarding risk of developmental or reproductive effects from current exposure levels to diisononyl phthalate (DINP), that there was “minimal concern” regarding risk of developmental effects and “negligible concern” regarding risk of reproductive effects from current exposure levels to diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP).

  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) on DINP in 2001 and the CPSC staff in 2002 both concluded that exposure to DINP from mouthing soft plastic toys would be expected to pose a minimal to non-existent risk of injury for the majority of children. In October 2017, CPSC proposed to make the ban on the use of DINP in toys and child care articles permanent and lift the restriction on the use of DIDP and DnOP in toys and child care articles.

In October 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released their Draft Screening Assessment for the Phthalate Substance Grouping, noting that their cumulative risk assessment used a conservative hazard index (HI) approach and showed “no concern for potential cumulative risk of medium-chain phthalates [including DINP] for the general Canadian population, specifically the more sensitive subpopulations (pregnant women/women of childbearing age, infants, and children) at current exposure levels.”

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