In February 2020 researchers from China published the results of their study to assess exposure levels to phthalates in Chinese homes and to relate these to building materials and lifestyles. The dust in 399 homes of 410 children in both urban and rural areas was assessed for levels of six phthalates, namely diethyl phthalate, di-isobutyl phthalate, di-n-butyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and di-isononyl phthalate. Phthalates are endocrine disupting chemicals and have been linked to reproductive problems, cancer, obesity and other disorders. Results showed that there was a strong association between modern flooring materials (laminated wood/wood) and higher levels of di-isobutyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate and di-isononyl phthalate; modern window frame (aluminum/plastic steel) and benzyl butyl phthalate; leather polish and di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate; and perfume and diethyl phthalate. A further analysis revealed that levels of phthalates were considerably higher in urban homes than rural homes.
Zhang Q et al. Phthalate exposure in Chinese homes and its association with household consumer products. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Feb 5;719:136965. [Epub ahead of print]