About Di(2ethylhexyl)phthalate

What is DEHP?

Also known as 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, DOP, and diethylhexyl phthalate, Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is one of the more popular organic compounds of the phthalate group. The chemical formula for DEHP is C6H4(CO2C8H17)2. It is a colorless and odorless chemical compound that is quickly soluble in oil but not in water. It is a common ingredient in the manufacturing of plastics for flexibility.

What Types of Industrial Uses Does it Have?

The main use of DEHP is as a plasticizer in the production of PVC products. It is added to plastics to add more flexibility to the finished products. Compared to other chemical compounds, DEHP is by far cheaper and more compatible as a plasticizer thanks to its suitable properties. The organic compound is also used as a replacement for PCBs in dielectric fluids in capacitors. DEHP is also produced as a solvent for glowsticks.

How Does DEHP Get into Your Drinking Water?

Since it is used as a plasticizer, the organic compound can be found everywhere in the environment. It can gradually leak into water systems from plastic products in the ground.

What are the Health Risks Associated with DEHP?

While there are no studies on human effects of DEHP, studies on rats exposed to high levels of the contaminant show damages to the liver, kidney, and reproductive system.

How Common is DEHP in Water?

DEHP is common in water since it is everywhere in the environment due to its use in plastics.

What is the EPA’s Contamination Level Standards for DEHP in Drinking Water?

The MCLG for the contaminant is zero, and the MCL is at 0.006 mg/L or 6 ppb.

What is the Best Reduction Media for Removing Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) from Drinking Water?

A water filter system that uses granular activated carbon (GAC) like AquaOx can remove DEHP to below 0.006 mg/L or 6 ppb from drinking water. It is a safe and effective way to keep your family safe from the health effects associated with DEHP-contaminated water.

From The Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

CAS ID #: 117-81-7
Affected Organ Systems: Reproductive (Producing Children)

Cancer Classification: NTP: Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen

Please contact NTPIARC, or EPA’s IRIS Hotline with questions on cancer and cancer classification.

Chemical Classification: Phthalates

Summary: Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthlate (DEHP) is a manufactured chemical that is commonly added to plastics to make them flexible. DEHP is a colorless liquid with almost no odor. DEHP is present in plastic products such as wall coverings, tablecloths, floor tiles, furniture upholstery, shower curtains, garden hoses, swimming pool liners, rainwear, baby pants, dolls, some toys, shoes, automobile upholstery and tops, packaging film and sheets, sheathing for wire and cable, medical tubing, and blood storage bags.

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