PHTHALATES

What is it?

“Phthalates or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid and are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity).” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethylhexyl phthalate, bis(2-Methoxyethyl) phthalate, n-Pentyl-isopentylphthalate, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) are prohibited for use in cosmetic products within the EU under CosIng*.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (previously the Breast Cancer Fund) list phthalates as endocrine disruptors, causing developmental and reproductive toxicity, and cancer.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identifies that:

  • Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) “may damage fertility or the unborn child and is very toxic to aquatic life.”
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) “may damage the unborn child and is suspected of damaging fertility, is very toxic to aquatic life and is very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.”
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) “may damage fertility or the unborn child and is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.”
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) “may damage the unborn child and is suspected of damaging fertility.”
  • N-pentyl-isopentylphthalate “may damage fertility and may damage the unborn child and is very toxic to aquatic life.”

Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and Diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP) are registered as “Substance of very high concern (SVHC)” by ECHA.

*CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.

How is it used?

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in a wide variety of consumer products. They are for example found in toys, PVC plastic (often in soft PVC plastic used for cables), plastic wrap, pharmaceuticals, vinyl flooring and wall covering.

The use of phatalates in cosmetics* and household products include detergents, makeup, body washes, hair products, fragrance preparations, nail polish, and lotions.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.

SUBSTANCES

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