SEHN

Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Phthalate Safety Concerns Merit Substitute Products

By Ted Schettler, M.D., MPH.
February 28, 2006

As evidence of the hazards of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) Continues to mount, the inevitable question arises, “When do we know enough to act to protect people from unnecessary and potentially harmful exposures?” Concerns about the safety of DEHP, a PVC plasticizer, have intensified since it became apparent that developing organisms are far more susceptible to DEHP exposures than adults. Hundreds of animal studies confirm the particular vulnerability of the developing male Reproductive system and have begun to define mechanisms of toxicity, including impaired testosterone synthesis. Birth defects, pathologic testicular changes, decreased sperm production, and altered hormone levels are caused by developmental exposures to DEHP. Lowest adverse effect levels in developing organisms are orders of magnitude lower than doses necessary to cause reproductive system impacts in adults. (excerpt)

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