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Group Profile for PhthalatesFootnote 1

October 2011

Group Description

  • This group consists of diesters of 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, also known as ortho-phthalates.
  • Fourteen substances are being considered for inclusion in this group and are identified in Table 1. The scope of this group may be expanded to inform a cumulative assessment approach if warranted.
  • Within the phthalates group assessment, there are 3 potential sub-groups based on structure-activity (observed differences in developmental toxicity):
    • Low molecular weight (MW) (R-alkyl backbone of 3 or less carbon atoms (≤C3).
    • Intermediate MW [R-alkyl backbone of 4 to 6 carbon atoms (C4 to C6)].
    • High MW (R-alkyl backbone of 7 or more carbon atoms (≥C7), or a benzyl group).
  • From an ecological perspective, the initial approach may be to view the substances as a single broad group, with subgroups based on properties such as P, B, log Kow emerging early on in the assessment process.

Selection Considerations

  • Potential health effects of concern. Some phthalates have been identified as potentially associated with reproductive and developmental effectsFootnote 2.
  • Potential ecological effects of concern for some phthalatesFootnote 3a.
  • Potential exposure of consumers and children. A survey conducted for phase 1 of the Domestic Substances List (DSL) Inventory Update identified that a subset of phthalates have a wide range of consumer applications including: adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, plastic and rubber materials, and automotive parts, which could result in exposure to humans, including childrenFootnote 4.
  • Potential to leverage/align with international activity. Phthalates have been identified both domestically and internationally as priorities for assessment. For example,
    • In 2008, the United States National Research Council published a key document, Phthalates and Cumulative Risk Assessment: The Tasks Ahead, making the case for cumulative assessmentFootnote 5.
    • In 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) released an Action Plan for phthalates which includes conducting an assessment of phthalates under the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) programFootnote 3b.
    • United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel will conduct a cumulative hazard assessment of phthalates (expected completion 2012)Footnote 6.
  • Potential risk assessment and risk management efficiencies and effectiveness.
    • Assessing as a group allows for consideration of aggregate exposure and cumulative risk, where warranted, and may inform potential substitution and to avoid repeated product formulation changes over time.

Potential Sectoral Involvement Identified through Phase 1 of the DSL Inventory Update

  • Plastic and rubber manufacturers
  • Automotive manufacturing
  • Chemical (except agricultural) wholesaler distributors
  • Adhesive and sealants manufacturers
  • Petroleum and Coal Product Manufacturing
Table 1 - Remaining CMP priorities being considered for inclusion in this group
CAS RNTable 1 footnote 1 Substance Name Substance CategoryTable 1 footnote 2 Acronym Proposed Sub-Group

Table 1 footnotes

Table 1 footnote 1

The Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number (CAS RN) is the property of the American Chemical Society and any use or redistribution, except as required in supporting regulatory requirements and/or for reports to the government when the information and the reports are required by law or administrative policy, is not permitted without prior, written permission of the American Chemical Society.

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Table 1 footnote 2

UVCB: Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products or Biological Materials.

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Table 1 footnote 3

MW - Molecular Weight.

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84-61-7 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dicyclohexyl ester Organics DCHP Intermediate MWTable 1 footnote 3
84-64-0 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, butyl cyclohexyl ester Organics BCHP Intermediate MW
84-69-5 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(2-methylpropyl) ester Organics DIBP Intermediate MW
131-11-3 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dimethyl ester Organics DMP Low MW
523-31-9 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(phenylmethyl) ester Organics DBenzP High MW
3648-20-2 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, diundecyl ester Organics DUP High MW
5334-09-8 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, cyclohexyl 2-methylpropyl ester Organics CHIBP Intermediate MW
16883-83-3 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, 2,2-dimethyl-1-(1-methylethyl)-3-(2-methyl-1-oxopropoxy)propyl phenylmethyl ester Organics B84P Intermediate MW
26761-40-0 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, diisodecyl ester Organics DIDP High MW
27215-22-1 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, isooctyl phenylmethyl ester Organics BIOP High MW
27987-25-3 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, bis(methylcyclohexyl) ester Organics DMCHP Intermediate MW
28553-12-0 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, diisononyl ester Organics DINP High MW
68515-40-2 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, benzyl C7-9-branched and linear alkyl esters UVCBs-organic B79P High MW
71888-89-6 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C6-8-branched alkyl esters, C7-rich UVCBs-organic DIHepP Intermediate MW


Footnote 1

This document describes the considerations for development of a group of substances for assessment under CEPA 1999, and the rationale for considering them to be a priority. The composition of the group may change with additional information-gathering. More information on categorization results for these substances is available.

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Footnote 2

European Commission. 2011. Next link will take you to another Web site ESIS: European chemical substances information system.

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Footnote 3

United States Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA] 2009. Next link will take you to another Web site Phthalates Action Plan. USEPA (PDF version - 78 K).

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Footnote 4

List of potential uses or sectors involved may not be comprehensive if not all substances included in the group were included in the Phase 1 of the DSL Inventory Update survey. The use and/or sectors listed may not apply to all substances included in the group.

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Footnote 5

National Research Council of the National Academies. 2008. Phthalates and cumulative risk assessment: The tasks ahead. Committee on the Health Risks of Phthalates, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Division on Earth and Life Studies. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press. 208pp.

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Footnote 6

US Consumer Product Safety Commission. 2011. Next link will take you to another Web site Phthalates chronic hazard advisory panel.

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