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Information @ a Glance

  • Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is a phthalate ester, namely the diethyl ester of phthalic acid. It is a clear substance that is liquid at room temperature and which does not occur in nature.
  • Diethyl phthalate has a faint, disagreeable odor and can be transferred from the plastics that contain it. When burned, DEP
    produces toxic gases.
  • Diethyl Phthalate is used as a solvent for nitro-cellulose and cellulose acetate in manufacturing of varnishes & paints and also in perfumery as a fixative and solvent.
  • Diethyl phthalate is produced by the reaction of phthalic anhydride with ethanol in the presence of a catalytic amount of concentrated sulfuric acid.
  • Diethyl phthalate is found in certain bath preparations, fragrance products, deodorants, lotions, and other skin care products. The highest reported concentration of use of Diethyl phthalate is 11 % in perfumes.
  • Diethyl phthalate is used in a wide range of consumer goods. It has been the subject of great public concern in recent years.
  • Diethyl phthalate is used as a plasticizer for cellulose ester plastic films and sheets (photographic, blister packaging, and tape applications) and molded and extruded articles (consumer articles such as toothbrushes, automotive components, tool handles, and toys).
  • Diethyl phthalate was reported as an ingredient in 67 cosmetic formulations at concentrations ranging from ≤0.1 % to  25-50%. These cosmetics included bath preparations (oils, tablets, and salts), eye shadows, toilet waters, perfumes and other fragrance preparations, hair sprays, wave sets, nail polish and enamel removers, nail extenders, nail polish, bath soaps, detergents, aftershave lotions, and skin care preparations.
  • If diethyl phthalate contacts the skin, workers should flush the affected areas immediately with plenty of water for 15 minutes, followed by washing with soap and water.
  • Diethyl Phthalate is an artificial chemical, so it is not subject to rancidity the way natural oils such as almond oil or olive oil are. Thus a diethyl phthalate based "oil" will have a very long shellfire.
  • Diethyl Phthalate acts as a more efficient "spreader" than natural oils, it is a more economical carrier for essential oils (natural or artificial) than a natural oil would be. With diethyl phthalate, a manufacturer can use less scent per ounce of finished product, saving money.
  • Recent studies show that DEP, a phthalic acid ester (PAE), is enzymatically hydrolyzed to its monoesters by pancreatic cholesterol esterase (CEase) in pigs and cows.

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