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Thursday
Jul022009

Butyl Benzyl Phthalate

 

Today's Chemical:
Butyl Benzyl Phthalate

EWG Risk Score:
6

What is it?
Butyl Benzyl Phthalate is a plasticizer used in PVC. It's created by combining phthalic acid, benzyl alcohol and n-butanol. In cosmetics it's used as a fragrance.

Why is it a risk?
The state of California and the European Union recognize BBP as a possible human developmental toxin, and the EPA and International Agency for Research on Cancer suspect it as a possible carcinogen. It is bioaccumulative in wildlife, an endocrine disruptor, and a neurotoxin. The EU say it is "dangerous for the environment" and "very toxic to aquatic organisms." They also state that it "may cause harm to the unborn child" and poses a "possible risk of impaired fertility." Animal studies by RTECS showed fetal death in rats, liver toxicity, endocrine toxicity, blood and lymphatic toxicity, and respiratory underdevelopment in rats and rat fetuses exposed to BBP.

What type of products is it found in?

Because companies don't have to disclose the ingredients in "fragrance" it could be in any ingredient with "fragrance" listed on the label, from lotions to baby shampoo. It can be lurking anywhere.

Companies that use this chemical:

Not disclosed. There are no companies that list BBP on their labels, however, anything with "fragrance" can contain this chemical.

There are thousands of companies that use "fragrance" including:

L'Oreal

Pantene

Dove

Kiss My Face

Johnson & Johnson

Sure

Secret

Steph's Opinion:

You always hear about avoiding phthalates--well, this is one of them! To avoid BBP and other phthalates, Be sure to use products that use essential oils instead of synthetic fragrances. Some companies use "phthalate-free" synthetic fragrances, however, they still don't have to disclose their ingredients. And just because a fragrance is phthalate-free doesn't mean that it's safe.

Sources
http://www.mineco.fgov.be/organization_market/competition/press_releases/press_release_04042008_en.pdf
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=717096&refurl=%2Fsearchres.php%3Fsearchtype%3Dingredients%26rs_cats2%255B%255D%3Ddevel_repro%253E10%26rs_cats2%255B%255D%3Dendo%253E10%26submit%3DFIND%2BINGREDIENTS%26showmore%3Dingredients%26

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