Environmental contamination with phthalates and its impact on living organisms

Paulina A. Przybylińska 1  and Mirosław Wyszkowski 1
  • 1 Department of Environmental Chemistry, University of Warmia and Mazury, pl. Łódzki 4, 10-727 Olsztyn, Poland

Abstract

The relevant literature was reviewed to identify phthalate sources in the environment and problems resulting from phthalate contamination of soil and water. Phthalate properties responsible for their toxicity for living organisms were identified, and the effects of phthalates on humans and animals were described. Special emphasis was placed on the effects of exposure to phthalates on human health. Phthalates are readily released into the environment and create a risk of exposure for humans and other living organisms. They are characterized by reproductive toxicity in humans and animals, they can cause infertility and reproductive problems in males. Phthalates are more toxic in young children, which are much more susceptible to phthalate exposure, including fetal life. Phthalates are used in numerous industries, and they are very difficult to eliminate from our daily surroundings.

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