In Japan, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is annually manufactured in amount of about 200,000 ton and is predominantly used as a plasticizer in flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products.
In this study, risks to human health and aquatic organisms caused by exposure to DEHP in Japan were evaluated. In the exposure analysis phase, emissions from PVC products in-use was quantified by analyzing life cycle of DEHP in various products, in addition to emission of DEHP from manufacturing and processing facilities.
Mathematical models were used to identify significant pathways and contributions quantitatively from various sources to human and aquatic organisms.
Furthermore, probabilistic approaches using available monitoring data on DEHP in the environment and foodstuffs were applied to evaluate current risk levels for human health and aquatic organisms.
The results of human health risk assessment show that the intake of DEHP for human is mainly due to orally ingestion of foodstuffs containing DEHP. Infant and children are identified as the high exposed subpopulation, but their risk levels to testis and reproductive toxicities are not of concern.
The model simulation suggests that the major source contributing human intake of DEHP are facilities producing PVC products and agricultural PVC film for protection of vegetations against cold and rain.
Results of ecological risk assessment show that risk levels of DEHP to aquatic organisms including benthos are also not of concern. The major source to the aquatic environment is identified to be PVC products used in outdoor.
Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, human risk, ecological risk
Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) Risk Assessment Document was produced within the Comprehensive Chemical Substance Assessment and Management Program funded by NEDO, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The executive summary was translated from Japanese by Japan Plasticizer Industry Association.
The full text of DEHP Risk Assessment Document (in Japanese only) was published by MARUZEN Co., LTD. in 2005 January.