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Phthalate Di-butyl phthalate

4. How can humans be exposed to DBP?

  • 4.1 How can workers be exposed to DBP?
  • 4.2 How can consumers be exposed to DBP?
  • 4.3 To what extent can the general public be exposed to DBP through the environment?

4.1 How can workers be exposed to DBP?

The source document for this Digest states:

Exposure assessment

Occupational exposure

Workplace exposure to DBP is possible due to the production of DBP, the production of products that contain DBP and the use of those products. Occupational exposure levels have been estimated using measured data and modelling by EASE with relevant assumptions. Production of DBP is done in closed systems. Exposure is mainly due to activities such as filling of tankers and drums, sampling, changing of filters and other maintenance activities. Typical full-shift inhalation exposure levels in production are estimated to be below 2 mg/m3 with a reasonable worst case of 5 mg/m3. Short-term inhalation exposure levels of up to 10 mg/m3 are considered possible. Dermal exposure in production is expected to be highest for drumming of DBP and was estimated by EASE to be up to 420 mg/day.

The formulation of products containing up to 15% of DBP leads to inhalation exposure and dermal exposure mainly due to adding of the substance to mixers, mixing and forming of the products by processes such as extruding and calendering. Mixing and forming processes are done at elevated temperatures (150-210°C). The estimated reasonable worst-case full-shift inhalation exposure level is 5 mg/m3 (typical: < 2 mg/m3, short-term 10 mg/m3). Manual addition of DBP is estimated to lead to a dermal exposure level of 420 mg/day.

The end use of products containing the substance occurs in the polymer industry, the painting industry and the printing industry and can be divided into two subscenarios: aerosol forming techniques, such as spray application, and techniques that do not involve aerosols. Inhalation exposure to DBP in techniques that do not involve aerosols (e.g. application of a product by means of a brush) is estimated to be negligible. The reasonable worst-case full-shift inhalation exposure level is estimated to be 10 mg/m3 with typical values of 2 mg/m3 and short-term exposure levels of up to 20 mg/m3. Dermal exposure during prolonged spay application of products containing DBP is estimated to be up to 975 mg/day. Other activities with products containing DBP are expected to lead to lower dermal exposure levels.

Workplace exposure to DBP for various scenarios

Source & ©:  "2003 Risk Assessment Report (RAR 003) on Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Summary of the Report, chapter 4: Human Health

For more information, see the full ECB Risk Assessment Report:
 Chapter 4: Human Health

The same information on
DIDP-DINPDEHP

4.2 How can consumers be exposed to DBP?

The source document for this Digest states:

Consumer exposure

DBP is used in several consumer products. To cover the widespread use of DBP, attention was focussed on products containing a relatively large concentration of DBP such as cosmetics (especially nail polish and enamels), adhesives and regenerated cellulose film (cellophane) wrapped food. Attention was also given to the (un)intentional use of DBP in children’s toys, in view of the general public concern on the use of phthalates in PVC toys.

Four exposure scenarios have been considered, using measured data or the CONSEXPO model for estimation of the exposure: I Nail polish, II Adhesive, III Cellophane wrapped food, and IV Toys for children. The results are given in Table 4.2.

Table 4.2 Summary of consumer exposure

Source & ©:  "2003 Risk Assessment Report (RAR 003) on Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Summary of the Report, chapter 4: Human Health

For more information, see the full ECB Risk Assessment Report:
 Chapter 4: Human Health

The same information on
DIDP-DINPDEHP

4.3 To what extent can the general public be exposed to DBP through the environment?

The source document for this Digest states:

Humans exposed via the environment

DBP may be released to the environment through waste water effluents and air at the sites where it is produced, formulated and/or processed/used. Estimated concentrations (EUSES) in the air near the emission sources for the various exposure scenarios ranged from 0.02 to 2.4 µg/m3. The calculated total daily human intake via air, drinking water and food for all emission scenarios at local scale (using EUSES) ranged from 7.86.10-4 to 0.0925 mg/kg bw/day for the various exposure scenarios. For the regional scale, the concentration in the air and the total human intake are calculated to be 0.006 µg/m3 and 3.59.10-4 mg/kg bw/day, respectively.

DBP has been identified in human breast milk in concentrations ranging from 10 to 51 µg/kg. Whether the DBP in human breast milk originates from direct or from indirect sources is not clear, but given the diffuse use and the diffuse emissions in the environment, the latter is more likely. Based on an average daily consumption of 120 g human milk/kg bw for infants, the exposure via breast milk for infants varies between 1.2 and 6 µg DBP/kg bw/day.

Source & ©:  "2003 Risk Assessment Report (RAR 003) on Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Summary of the Report, chapter 4: Human Health

For more information, see the full ECB Risk Assessment Report:
 Chapter 4: Human Health

The same information on
DIDP-DINPDEHP

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