Written on labels as: Diethyl phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance
Found in the following products: Feminine care products, hair care products, cosmetics, nail polish and products with “fragrance”
Chemical purpose: Phthalates are used to maintain the scent of fragrances in cosmetics.
Potential harmful risks:
Destruction to the male reproductive system: A growing number of studies indicate that this chemical family damages the male reproductive system.
Harmful to pregnant women/infants: Studies show that pregnant women’s exposure to the phthalates DBP and DEHP indicate a feminization had occurred during prenatal genital development.
Cancer: The National Toxicology Program and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report that DEHP is reasonably to be anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity of animal studies.
DBP and DEHP are banned in cosmetics sold in the EU.
Chen FP. & Chien MH., Lower concentrations of phthalates induce proliferation in human breast cancer cells. Climacteric, vol. 17, no. 4, pp 377-84, 2014.
Malkan, S. Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry. Gabriola, BC, Canada: New Society Publishers, pp. 18-19. 2007.