Risk assessment of phthalates based on aggregated exposure from foods and personal care products and comparison with biomonitoring data

phthalates, exposure, food, cosmetics, Monte Carlo, risk assessment
First published in the EFSA Journal
26 Noviembre 2020
7 Septiembre 2020
Special Issue


Phthalates are a group of diesters of phthalic acid and have been widely used by the industry as plasticisers giving flexibility and durability to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics. Commonly their uses vary from plasticisers in food contact materials and toys to emulsifying agents in personal care products. Phthalates are not covalently bound to PVC, thus they can migrate into the air, skin, water, food and the environment. The omnipresence of phthalates results in human exposure via multiple pathways such as dermal, oral and inhalation for prolonged periods. There is evidence that phthalates can induce disruption in oestrogenic activity, reproductive, developmental and liver toxicity both in experimental animals and potentially in humans. The aim of this technical report is to summarise the activities of the fellow performed at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH). The goals of the work programme were collecting concentration levels on five specific phthalates from the scientific literature and combining them with consumption/use data reported in a biomonitoring study part of a Horizon 2020 project (EuroMix), and finally, estimate the aggregate phthalate exposure from food and personal care products and compare them with the measured phthalate levels in urine samples collected in the biomonitoring study.

eu-fora [at] efsa.europa.eu
EFSA Journal 2020;18():e181105