Use of Diethyl Phthalate as a plasticizer

December 15, 2020

Phthalates is a group of materials that render plastics more flexibility and is used in a wide variety of products, including toys, porcelain tile and wall coverings, detergents, lubricating oils, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, blood bags and tubes, and some cosmetic and personal care products. Since phthalates are commonly used in many consumer goods, their safety has been thoroughly investigated and tested. Phthalates are basically a complex family of compounds, each with its own particular spectrum of properties. The safety profiles of the various phthalates are not all the same.

Some have undesirable properties, while others do not much, in the same way, mushrooms as a family include edible nutritious mushrooms and poisonous toadstools. Similarly, it is very incorrect to assume all phthalates to be the same: they are not. Among phthalate groups,  Diethyl phthalate is a colorless liquid which has a bitter and non pleasing taste. It is very commonly used to make plastics more flexible.

Plasticizer for Lignin Ester

Diethyl phthalate is often used as a plasticizer for lignin ester plastic films and sheets photographic, foil and tape applications and moulded and extruded articles consumer articles like toothbrushes, automotive components, tool handles, and toys. A large range of consumer goods contain diethyl phthalate or are wrapped in diethyl phthalate-containing plastics.

Medicinal Coating 

Diethyl phthalate is used in medicinal coatings, products, and plastic film to wrap food. There is a health risk associated with exposure to phthalate esters since they belong to a class of compounds referred to as peroxide proliferators that have shown to increase the occurrence of malignant tumours when applied to rats.

Cosmetic Formulations

Diethyl phthalate has been identified as an element in 67 cosmetic formulations, like bath preparations (oils, tablets, and salts), eye shadows, toilet water, fragrances, and other perfume formulations, hair sprays, waves, nail polish, and lacquer removers, nail extenders, bath soaps, cleaning products, aftershave lotions, and skincare formulations.

Human exposure to diethyl phthalate is estimated to be inevitable due to its use as a plasticizer for cellulose ester films and extruded materials and it is also used in a range of consumer goods. Releases are likely to occur mainly in water or soil as a result of landfill leaching. Diethyl phthalate can reach the atmosphere by burning plastics and, to a lesser degree, by volatilization.

Diethyl phthalate has been found in indoor ambient air, wastewater from industrial installations, surface water and sediment, and marine waters. However, the depuration process is relatively rapid when species are put in uncontaminated water.

Human exposure to diethyl phthalate can also happen by consuming food in which diethyl phthalate is siphoned from food packaging, eating contaminated seafood, contaminated water, or breathing airborne contaminants, or from medical care involving the use of PVC tubes.

Apart from the applications mentioned above, diethyl phthalate can also be seen as a component widely used in insecticide sprays and mosquito repellents. It is also used as a substitute to camphor. You might have seen its application, if you have visited dentist sometime, it is used in polysulfide dental impression materials. Diethyl Phthalate is used as a good wetting agent, in pharmaceuticals it is used as an ingredient in aspirin coatings and pharmaceutical packaging.

It is advised to buy diethyl phthalate from top manufacturers and suppliers like Prakash Chemicals International as a slight mismatch of impurities may lead to adverse effects.