Phthalates represent a family of chemical bad actors who first entered the business in the 1920s — five members of her family have been inducted into California’s Proposition 65 List for causing cancer. Her most prominent roles include softening the scene in PVC/vinyl products and making PVC plastics more flexible. She’s starred in children’s toys, food packaging, vinyl shower curtains, and numerous medical devices. And that “new car smell”? Phthalates being released from a hot dashboard. A box office record, at least one Phthalates was found in 97 percent of people tested.

After being discontinued in some children’s toys, Phthalates is receiving widespread attention for her roles in fragrances, lotions, shampoos, nail polish, vinyl flooring, vinyl school supplies, air fresheners and cleaning products. As softening and sweet-smelling as she may appear to be, the Phthalates performances in these roles brings along cancer, asthma and reproductive harm, including male genital birth defects and other indications of demasculinization. That is some body of work.


Phthalates’ most prominent role has been as a softening agent in PVC and vinyl products to make the plastic flexible and more durable. The plastic then is turned into children’s toys, food packaging, vinyl shower curtains, and numerous medical devices. The “new car smell” that we all know and love becomes especially strong after a new car has been sitting in the sun for a few hours, is partly the odor of phthalates being released from a hot dashboard. Mmmm!

Phthalates have been in widespread use for over 50 years, and are widely used in consumer and industrial products. She have graced us with appearances in numerous other roles: in lotions, shampoos, perfumes, food packaging, wallpaper, flooring, air fresheners, detergents, cleaning products, and a very widely publicized performance in nail polish as a part of the “Toxic Trio” with fellow Toxie, Formaldehyde. Phthalates are also used far and wide for her depiction as a fragrance carrier.


Five of her twin sisters (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DIDP, and DnHP) all-star as member of California’s prestigious Proposition 65 list. This prestigious “worst of the worst” list features known reproductive toxins and cancer causing toxic chemicals

In 2006, San Francisco became the first jurisdiction in the United States to enact a prohibition on the use of DEHP, DBP, and BBP in all toys and child care articles and prohibited the use of DINP, DIDP, and DNOP in toys and child care articles intended for use by children under three years of age that can be put in the mouth.


Her performances really get under you skin…and into you blood! Phthalates are ubiquitous in the human body.  In US CDC biomonitoring studies, at least one phthalate was found in 97 percent of people tested.

People are exposed by breathing indoor air where phthalates have “offgassed” out of the consumer products and by eating food that has been contaminated with phthalates.  Using your microwave to heat up food in plastic containers can accelerate the leaching of the phthalates from the plastic container or wrap into the food.  Bon Appetit!


People love to talk about her in the scientific tabloids! She really has a way with men…Here’s the scoop: Research showed phthalates produced dramatic changes in male sexual characteristics. For example, when exposure took place in utero Ms. Phthalates increased in the rates of birth defects of the penis and other indications of demasculinization such as the decrease in anogenital distance among male infants. Ponder that, boys!

Grrrr! For grown men, regular everyday phthalate exposure lead to a reductions in semen quality. Among her more notable, man-eating roles, research linked phthalate exposure with early breast development girls.


Approximately a billion pounds are produced worldwide yearly.  They appear everywhere—both in products where they’re added intentionally and as contaminants. Pthaltes are represented by the wealthy firms the American Chemistry Council and Vinyl Institute. Industry trade groups who will stop at nothing to ensure this shameless gal always has a special place in your special places.