Because of their large and widespread application, phthalates or phthalic acid esters (PAEs) are ubiquitous in all the environmental compartements. They have been widely detected throughout the worldwide environment. Indoor air where people spend 65–90% of their time is also highly contaminated by various PAEs released from plastics, consumer products as well as ambient suspended particulate matter. Because of their widespread application, PAEs are the most common chemicals that humans are in contact with daily. Based on various exposure mechanisms, including the ingestion of food, drinking water, dust/soil, air inhalation and dermal exposure the daily intake of PAEs may reach values as high as 70 μg/kg/day. PAEs are involved in endocrine disrupting effects, namely, upon reproductive physiology in different species of fish and mammals. They also present a variety of additional toxic effects for many other species including terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora. Therefore, their presence in the environment has attracted considerable attention due to their potential impacts on ecosystem functioning and on public health. This paper is a synthesis of the extensive literature data on behavior, transport, fate and ecotoxicological state of PAEs in environmental matrices: air, water, sediment, sludge, wastewater, soil, and biota. First, the origins and physicochemical properties of PAEs that control the behavior, transport and fate in the environment are reviewed. Second, the compilation of data on transport and fate, adverse environmental and human health effects, legislation, restrictions, and ecotoxicological state of the environment based on PAEs is presented.
Sopheak Net, Richard Sempéré, Anne Delmont and al., Environ. Sci. Technol., 49 (7), pp 4019–4035, March 2015