Phthalates: they are everywhere, the safety thresholds must be reviewed immediately

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Elia Tabuenca García
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According to a study, we are constantly exposed to phthalates and the safety thresholds set for these substances may not be enough

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

We are increasingly exposed to chemicals and, for this reason, these substances (including phthalates) are regulated and there are safety thresholds to be respected. But are they really enough? A new study has questioned this aspect.





We are talking about new research, published in Environmental Health, which explains that the chemical risk assessment of phthalates (and not only) is based on pre-market toxicity tests to identify safe levels of exposure, often known as reference doses. (RfD), which are expected to be protective for human health. Although some RfDs have been re-evaluated in light of new information on the hazards, it is not common practice.

To understand, therefore, whether, as regards orthophthalates, the safety levels are still valid, the study examined dozens of previous researches in particular on 5 chemicals:

  • benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP)
  • dibutylphthalate (DBP)
  • dicicloesil phthalato (DCHP)
  • bis (2-ethylsilyl) phthalate (DEHP)

As we read in the study, the method used by the experts was the following:

Data were extracted from studies in which any of the five chemicals or their metabolites were measured and showed a statistically significant association with a health outcome; 38 studies met the criteria. We estimated the intake for each phthalate from the urinary metabolite concentration and compared the estimated intake ranges associated with the health endpoints with the RfD of each phthalate.

In this way, significant associations were highlighted between exposure to phthalates and various health problems: reproductive, hormonal, behavioral, metabolic and neurological. In fact, we read that:

All phthalates measured in urine as metabolites of DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP showed significant associations with reproductive (male and female), neurodevelopmental, behavioral, hormonal and metabolic endpoints at estimated intake values ​​well below their respective RfD. .


@Environmental Health

The experts' conclusion is therefore that:


for DBP, DIBP, BBP and DEHP the current estimated RfDs based on male reproductive toxicity may not be sufficiently protective for other health effects. Therefore, a new approach is needed in which post-marketing exposures, epidemiological and clinical data are systematically reviewed to ensure adequate health protection.

The main problem is that the phthalates they are present, one might say ubiquitous, in many commonly used products (clothes, cosmetics and make-up, bags, paints, adhesives, etc.) and therefore it would be more important than ever that the safety levels were constantly updated with the most recent scientific data. Read also: Phthalates: what they are, where they are and why you should try to avoid them

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Fonte:  Environmental Health

Read also:

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