Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering

Analysis of phthalic acid diesters, monoester, and other plasticizers in polyvinyl chloride household products in Japan.

PMID 21714626


The aim of this study was to determine the concentrations of six phthalic acid diesters (PAEs) [di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)], two non-phthalic plasticizers [di(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutylate (TMPDIB)], and mono 2-ethylhexyl phthalate(MEHP) in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) household products that children often places in their mouths and/or contact with their skin (41 products, 47 samples) in Japan. The detection frequencies of the studied compounds were as follows: DEHP (79 %), DINP-2 (13 %), DINP-1 (11 %), DBP (8.5 %), DEHA (8.5 %), DIDP (4.3 %), and DNOP (2.1 %). Concentrations of these compounds ranged from 0.021 % to 48 %. BBP and TMPDIB were not detected in the all samples. Most samples contained DEHP and DINP at high concentrations over 0.1 %. High concentrations of PAEs were detected in PVC household products that appear appealing to children and can possibly be licked and chewed by them. Di(2-ethylhexyl) terephtalete, diisononyl 1,2-cyclohexanedicarboxylic acid, acetyl tributyl citrate, and di(2-ethylhexyl) 4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboxylate used as substitute plasticizers were also detected in several samples. MEHP was present in 70 % of the samples, with concentrations ranging from trace amounts to 140 μg/g. The ratios of MEHP against DEHP were 6.2 × 10(-4) to 1.6 × 10(-1) %. MEHP in the household products investigated in this study was most probably an impurity in DEHP. The high concentrations of PAEs detected in products that children often place in their mouth reveal the importance of replacing plasticizers in common household products, and not just children's toys, with safer alternatives.