Characteristic of the Agent

Fate and Transport

Environmental Impacts

Environmental Monitoring

Exposure Pathway

Routes of Exposure

Methods for Measuring Human Exposure

Strategies for Preventing or Controlling Exposures

Harmful Effects

Dose Response

Absorption, Distribution and Metabolism


Target Organs and Tissues

Mechanisms of Toxicity

Risk Assessment and Risk Management


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Phthalates are a class of chemicals developed within the last century. The oily chemical substance is never used alone but incorporated into other products. Over 87% of phthalates produced are used as a plasticizer (gives plastics its strength, flexibility, and durability). Phthalates are used in flexible polyvinyl chloride plastics such as plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage containers, intravenous tubing, children’s toys, and some pesticide formulas. Phthalates are also used as industrial chemicals added to many consumer products such as vinyl flooring adhesives, detergents, lubricating soils, automobiles, home furnishings, solvents, food packaging, automotive plastics, construction, plastic clothing , and personal care products . The estimated annual production of Phthalic Acid Esters (PAE’s) in 1998 was 5 million tons.