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Phthalate Facts!

There are lots of questions & controversy about Phthalates. What are Phthalates? What do they do? Are they dangerous? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) studied biomonitoring data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2001 and found “no reason for consumers to be alarmed at the use of cosmetics containing phthalates.” In addition, a study of participants from a CDC study showed that Phthalate exposure levels used in personal care products were well within the safety levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—levels that already incorporate a number of conservative safety margins. An expert panel—the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR)—also reviewed the use of phthalates in cosmetics. In 2002, it completed an extensive review of all the literature on DMP, DEP and DBP and reaffirmed its 1985 conclusion that these phthalates are “safe as used in cosmetic products.” CIR found that exposures to phthalates from cosmetics are “low compared to levels that would cause adverse effects in animals.”

Phthalates are among the most thoroughly studied families of compounds in the world and have been reviewed by multiple regulatory bodies in the United States. Using estimates of the average amounts of DBP found in nail polish, if a person were to absorb all the DBP in almost five bottles of nail polish, or all the DEP in two quarts of perfume, every day, the amount of phthalates he or she consumed would still be a level at which no effect is seen in laboratory animals.

Q. Do phthalates cause cancer?
A. Phthalates are not a known carcinogen.

Q. We are exposed to phthalates every day, in many ways. Doesn’t that add up to trouble?
A. We are exposed to many things every day. But phthalates do not build up in the body. Phthalates begin to break down within minutes and are quickly metabolized.

Get the facts & decide for yourself.


Phthalate Q & A

Phthalates in Personal Care Products