Phthalates/Plasticizers, Edition 1

Phthalates are found everywhere. As a chemist you can hardly do an analysis without detecting them.


Phthalates and other plasticizers are used in vinyl products of everyday use to make them flexible. Plasticizers are one of those everyday miracles that have made the life easier for all of us. Vinyl polymers like PVC are hard and rigid substances, but thanks to the plasticizers they behave in a soft and flexible way when we buy them as finished products.


The annual consumption of plasticizers is in the order of 8 million metric tons. Approximately 80 % of all phthalates are used as plasticizers, and 70 % of all plasticizers used are phthalates. Nearly 90 % of all phthalates are used in vinyl plastic products.


As with several other industrial wonders, the phthalates are now associated with several health concerns, and guidelines on their use are enforced by governmental and international restrictions worldwide.


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