General chemical structure of orthophthalates. Due to the ubiquity of plasticized plastics, harmful effects of plastic on environment pdf majority of people are exposed to some level of phthalates. In studies of rodents exposed to certain phthalates, high doses have been shown to change hormone levels and cause birth defects. PVC is used extensively in sewage pipe due to its low cost, chemical resistance and ease of jointing.
Phthalate plasticizers are essential to the utility of PVC, which is otherwise too brittle. Phthalates are used in a variety of household applications such as shower curtains, vinyl upholstery, adhesives, floor tiles, food containers and wrappers, and cleaning materials. Personal-care items containing phthalates include perfume, eye shadow, moisturizer, nail polish, liquid soap, and hair spray. Phthalates are also found in modern electronics and medical applications such as catheters and blood transfusion devices. PVC, which is used mostly as a flooring material, although its use is decreasing rapidly in the Western countries.
4 million tonnes of plasticizers are produced globally every year, of which European produced accounts for approximately 1. DEHP as the general purpose plasticizer of choice because DIDP and DINP were not classified as hazardous. All of these mentioned phthalates are now regulated and restricted in many products. DEHP has been phased out in Europe under REACH and can only be used in specific cases if an authorisation has been granted. 1856 for use as the first plasticizer. Phthalates were first introduced in the 1920s and quickly replaced the volatile and odorous camphor. When added to plastics, phthalates allow the long polyvinyl molecules to slide against one another.
The phthalates have a clear syrupy liquid consistency and show low water solubility, high oil solubility, and low volatility. The mechanism by which phthalates and related compounds effect plasticization to polar polymers has been a subject of intense study since the 1960s. This enables an intimate mix of polymer and plasticizer to be formed, and for these interactions to occur. The alkyl chains of the phthalate then screen the PVC chains from each other as well. They are blended within the plastic article as a result of the manufacturing process. For example they can be removed by heating or by extraction with organic solvents.
There are numerous biological alternatives on the market. The problem is that they are typically expensive and not compatible as a primary plasticizer. A plasticizer based on vegetable oil that uses single reactor synthesis and is compatible as a primary plasticizer has been developed. It is a ready substitute for dioctyl phthalate. And several other bio-based plasticizers have been and are being developed as alternatives to phthalates.