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Phthalate Di-isodecyl & Di-isononyl phthalates

3. Can DIDP and DINP affect the environment?

  • 3.1 What happens to DIDP and DINP released into the environment?
  • 3.2 When are DIDP and DINP released?
  • 3.3 What levels of DIDP and DINP are expected near the sources?
  • 3.4 What are the possible effects of DIDP and DINP on the environment?
  • 3.5 What are the risks of DIDP and DINP to the environment?

As DIDP and DINP are each mixtures of closely related substances (isomers), the fate and behaviour of the whole mixture cannot be determined with accuracy by chemical analysis. Each component of the mixture would tend to behave differently in the environment. Nevertheless, an overall picture can be drawn. More...

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3.1 What happens to DIDP and DINP released into the environment?

DIDP and DINP do not react with water (hydrolysis).

The breakdown of DIDP and DINP in the environment cannot be measured directly, but can be estimated by using results from a related phthalate, DEHP. The estimated time that it takes for half of the initial amount to be degraded (half-life) for both DIDP and DINP are 0.6 days and 0.7 days respectively in air, 50 days in surface water, 300 days in soil and 3 000 days sediment.

Laboratory testing indicates a high potential for bioaccumulation of DIDP and DINP in animal tissues, strong binding to sewage sludge, soils and sediments and very low mobility in soil. Tests on certain freshwater organisms have shown that high amounts can be concentrated in the body (bioconcentration). More...

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3.2 When are DIDP and DINP released?

Where available industry information has been used to estimate releases.

DIDP and DINP production facilities release significant amounts of these phthalates into waste water but not into surface water and very little into air. PVC processing causes significant releases into waste water and air. However, most of the releases into waste water, surface water and air come from the use (outdoors or indoors) and disposal of PVC products containing DIDP and DINP.

In Europe, DIDP and DINP production and the manufacture, use and disposal of products containing those phthalates are estimated to release: More...

Table 3.2 PECs calculated for the various stages of the life cycle of DIDP

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3.3 What levels of DIDP and DINP are expected near the sources?

Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PECs) have been estimated for various environmental media located near sources of DIDP and DINP.

For DIDP:
In water predicted concentrations are:
  • 5-6 µg/l near sites using DIDP in paints, sealants and textiles
  • 9 µg/l near to polymer processing sites (other than PVC),
  • 16 µg/l near to PVC processing sites and
  • 45 µg/l close to DIDP production sites.
Concentrations in sediment follow a similar pattern, ranging from 79 to 718 mg/kg dry weight. Levels in soil range from 4 to 5.3 mg/kg dry weight near sites using DIDP in paints, sealants and textiles, up to 8.2 mg/kg dry weight near to polymer processing sites (other than PVC), and 16.4 mg/kg dry weight near to PVC processing sites, with no localised deposition in soil around DIDP production sites.
Concentrations present in aquatic organisms near to sources range from 12 to 31 mg/kg wet weight and in soil dwelling organisms from 0.02 to 6 mg/kg wet weight.
The calculated levels in air are very low
For DINP:
In water, predicted concentrations are:
  • 1-8 µg/l near sites using DINP in paints, adhesives, sealants, and inks,
  • 3.4 µg/l near to non-PVC processing,
  • 9.7 µg/l near to PVC processing sites, and
  • 2.2 µg/l close to DINP production sites,
Concentrations of DINP in sediment follow a similar pattern, ranging from 10.7 to 150 mg/kg dry weight. Levels in soil range from 0.66 to 8.9 mg/kg dry weight near to uses, 3.3 mg/kg dry weight near to polymer processing sites (other than PVC) and 10.9 mg/kg dry weight near to PVC processing sites, with no localised deposition in soil around DINP production sites.
Concentrations of DINP present in aquatic organisms near to sources range from 3 to 18 mg/kg wet weight and in soil dwelling organisms from 0.01 to 4 mg/kg wet weight.
The calculated levels in air are very low

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3.4 What are the possible effects of DIDP and DINP on the environment?

According to laboratory tests, DIDP and DINP do not have adverse effects on organisms living in water or in sediments. This has been tested at concentrations up to the maximum amounts of DIDP and DINP that will dissolve in water. Tests were conducted on fish, invertebrates, algae, activated sludge, sediment dwellers and frog eggs and no adverse effect was seen in any of them. Therefore no Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) could be derived.

Moreover, there do not appear to be any endocrine disrupting effects of DIDP or DINP on fish populations. This conclusion was based on the results of a study looking at several generations of fish, which showed no effects of DIDP or DINP on survival, egg production or ability to produce offspring.

Experiments performed with DIDP and DINP in air did not reveal any effects upon plants, but due to experimental shortcomings they do not allow to conclude an absence of toxicity of DIDP to plants through the atmosphere. Therefore no Predicted No Effect Concentration for the atmosphere can be determined for DIDP. A similar result has been estimated for DINP.

Laboratory experiments have tested for possible effects of DIDP and DINP on plants and earthworms in soil containing concentrations of these phthalates of 1 500 up to 10 000 mg/kg dry weight. No effects were observed. Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNECsoil) of 100 mg/kg dry weight for DIDP and 30 mg/kg dry weight for DINP. Secondary poisoning refers to the poisoning of animals consuming food, such as fish, contaminated by phthalates. For DIDP, a Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNECoral) of 50 mg/kg of food was estimated for top predators based on the lowest overall No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) from a study with dogs. A PNECoral of 150 mg/kg of food was estimated for DINP based on the lowest overall No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) from a study with rats. This implies that harmful effects may be observed at doses higher than the NOAELs.

Note: The CSTEE published an opinion on the risk assessment on DINP :  "Opinion on the results of the Risk Assessment of: 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C8-10-branched alkyl esters, C9-rich and di-“isononyl” phthalate" More...

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3.5 What are the risks of DIDP and DINP to the environment?

A Predicted No Effect Concentration could be calculated for top predators and soils, but the environmental concentrations are much lower than those PNECs in all cases. In many other cases, the absence of observed effects did not allow to estimate PNECs.

It can therefore tentatively be concluded, that DIDP and DINP do not cause adverse effects to organisms. The assessment also concluded that there is at present no need for further information and/or testing or for further risk reduction measures beyond those being applied already. More...

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