A global assessment of phthalates burden and related links to health effects

Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental contaminants which are used in industry as plasticisers and additives in cosmetics. They are classified as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) which impair the human endocrine system inducing fertility problems, respiratory diseases, childhood obesity and neuropsychological disorders. The aim of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge on the toxicity that phthalates pose in humans based on human biomonitoring studies conducted over the last decade. Except for conventional biological matrices (such as urine and serum), amniotic fluid, human milk, semen, saliva, sweat, meconium and human hair are also employed for the estimation of exposure and distribution of pollutants in the human body, although data are not enough yet. Children are highly exposed to phthalates relative to adults and in most studies children’s daily intake surpasses the maximum reference dose (RfD) set from US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). However, the global trend is that human exposure to phthalates is decreasing annually as a result of the strict regulations applied to phthalates.

Authors: Katsikantami I, Sifakis S, Tzatzarakis MN, Vakonaki E, Kalantzi OI, Tsatsakis AM, Rizos AK. ;Full Source: Environment International. 2016 Sep 23. pii: S0160-4120(16)30414-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2016.09.013. [Epub ahead of print] ;