Environmental Project 1341, 2010

Identification and assessment of alternatives to selected phthalates


In this study a number of alternative plasticisers to the phthalates DEHP, DBP and BBP are described and assessed. Suitable alternative plasticisers have been identified for most applications of the phthalates, and 10 of these have been assessed in detail. Some of the assessed alternative plasticisers have a broad application scope, others are more specialised. Plasticiser alternatives to DEHP, first of all the plasticisers DINA, DINCH, DEHT, ATBC and ASE are marketed at somewhat higher to significantly higher prices than the price of DEHP. The results of the assessment further indicate that alternatives to DBP and BBP are available for the major applications of the substances, at prices quite similar to the prices of the phthalates. All 10 assessed substances are expected to have low acute toxicity based on animal studies. For three of the assessed alternatives data exists demonstrating that they cannot be considered CMR substances (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic); for the other alternatives data for at least one critical parameter are missing. The toxicological data for DEGD and DGD, two of the available alternatives to DBP and BBP in polymeric applications (plastics), indicate that the substances might be some effect on reproduction, but the results are not statistically significant and more data are necessary for a clear conclusion. With regard to the environmental properties, none of the 10 studied alternatives meet the criteria for being PBT substances (persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic in the aquatic environment) or vPvB substances (very persistent and very bioaccumulative), although all substances except GTA show one or two of these properties.

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