Safer Solutions Total Environment Centre
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Phthalates PDF Print E-mail

Phthalates are used as plasticisers to soften plastic to make it pliable, particularly in the manufacture of polyvinylchloride (PVC). Health effects include endocrine disruption. Environmental effects, which are moderately persistent, can bioaccumulate.

The greatest risk of exposure is for children, from chewing on vinyl (PVC) toys or teething rings/teats/dummies, which all contain large amounts of phthalates (up to 25 per cent by weight) to keep them soft. The European Union banned PVC in toys or products designed for children under three years of age in 2000.

Use silicone-based teething toys and teats. Avoid PVC toys and baby products.

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