Humans are exposed to phthalates by way of Inhalation, Ingestion, Skin and Eye contact and also by direct injection. Below are the exposure routes and common sources: XII, XIII
Household goods/dust- DEHP used in PVC building materials (Example: off-gasing of PVC flooring) and phthalates present in dust (increasing incidence of asthma?)
Medical inhalation therapy- One example being the tubing inserted into throat for forced-air ventilation.
Occupational exposure- Heated/melted products that contain phthalates can emit phthalate vapors. OSHA set an 8-hr TWA exposure limit for DEP @ 5 mg/m3. The ACGIH has a TLV-TWA of 5 mg/m3.
Household goods/dust- Food packaging (especially fatty foods) such as meat, fish, eggs, baby milk and milk products.
Major Exposure in food, believed to be absorbed from packaging or manufacturing process. The highest in dairy products (soft cheese)
Water- Due to the environmental persistence, commonly found in groundwater, rivers and drinking water.
Child soft toys- Plasticizers can leach out of toys in children chewing on them
Medical Procedures- Occurs when vinyl products are placed into the mouth, esophagus or stomach.
SKIN &/OR EYE
*Unlikely for substantial exposure dose to occur*
INK- Used to print on plastic, board or foil packed products
Clothing- Plastic and vinyl clothing such as raincoats
Personal care products- bar soap, shampoo and nail polish
Occupational exposure- PVC content gloves
*Can be a major source of exposure in those affected*
Medical bags and tubes- products used in hospitals made of PVC and leach phthalate plasticizers