Scientific Reports on Phthalates

Government Studies and Reports on Phthalates

  • In 2006, the U.S. National Toxicology Program Expert Panel re-affirmed that the phthalate DEHP poses a risk to human development and fertility (pdf)
  • Previous reports by the NTP Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction warned about the health risks associated with DEHP.
  • In September 2001, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted a Safety Assessment of DEHP Released from PVC Medical Devices and concluded that some patients may be at risk of harm from DEHP leaching from PVC medical devices (pdf)
  • In July 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issues a Public Health Notification on DEHP warning health care providers to reduce DEHP exposure for certain vulnerable populations, including infants and other patients receiving multiple medical treatments.
  • The European Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern includes DEHP as a reproductive toxicant. See the support document on the toxicity of DEHP for more information (pdf)
  • In January 2002, a Health Canada Expert Advisory Panel on DEHP in Medical Devices advised that immediate action be taken to protect pregnant women, sick infants, and other vulnerable patients from DEHP exposure via PVC medical devices (pdf)
  • In January 2003, the National Chemicals Inspectorate of Sweden (KEMI) issued a DEHP Risk Reduction Strategy (pdf)
  • Since 2001, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been conducting a national biomonitoring study to measure the levels of toxic chemicals (including DEHP) found in the blood and urine of a cross-section of the American population, see the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals (pdf)

Harvard Study on DEHP Exposure in NICUs

In 2005, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported that sick infants treated in Neonatal Intensive Care Units that use PVC medical devices are exposed to high levels of the toxic phthalate DEHP.

The study found significantly less exposure in infants treated in a hospital that had switched to PVC-free medical devices. This evidence suggests that hospitals can make a significant contribution to reducing toxic chemical exposures by switching to medical devices that do not contain PVC or phthalates. See our section on Alternatives to PVC and DEHP.

Use of Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Containing Medical Products and Urinary Levels of Mono(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Infants, by Ronald Green, Russ Hauser, Antonia M. Calafat, Jennifer Weuve, Ted Schettler, Steven Ringer, Kenneth Huttner, and Howard Hu

Sample of press coverage:

Recent News and Science Updates

Stay up-to-date on emerging science and news about the health risks of phthalates and other hazardous chemicals at Environmental Health News. This website is published by Environmental Health Sciences and is continually updated.