As concern has grown over the years of the potential dangers of phthalates, many research studies have been commissioned. These studies are now concluding and the results being published.

Research scientist in lab

The newest results are summarised here, from major studies around the world. They show a link to a wide range of health issues. In anticipation of these health effects, they have been categorised as worrisome compounds.

Clear evidence on the potential health impacts of phthalates can be seen:

1. Probable carcinogen

Following the result of the research on phthalates, the specific phthalates DEHP and DIP have both been listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen’.

Additionally, in Canada The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) as a possible cause of cancer [ref 1].

2. Increased incidence of asthma

A study published in 2014 followed phthalate levels from fetus through to school age. It found a high correlation between phthalate exposure and asthma. Children exposed to high concentrations of phthalates in the womb were 70% more likely to become asthmatic between the ages of 5 and 12. [ref 2,3]

3. Other health effects

A wide array of health problems have also been liked to phthalates by many studies. These side effects include:

attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
breast cancer
type II diabetes
low IQ
neurodevelopmental issues
behavioral issues
autism spectrum disorders
altered reproductive development
male fertility issues
[Ref 4, 5, 6, 7]