Butyl Benzyl Phthalate (BBP)

Why am I being warned about potential exposure to BBP?

  • BBP is on the Proposition 65 list because it can cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.
  • Exposure to BBP during pregnancy may affect development of the child.
  • Proposition 65 requires businesses to determine if they must provide a warning about exposures to listed chemicals.

What is BBP?

  • BBP is an oily liquid that belongs to a family of chemicals called phthalates, which are added to some plastics to make them flexible.
  • BBP is used in various consumer products, including:
    • Some vinyl flooring, sealants, and paints.
    • Some handbags, belts, footwear and other artificial leather items that are made with polyvinyl chloride (commonly referred to as vinyl).
  • California law prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of children’s toys and child care articles containing BBP at levels greater than 0.1%.  US law has a similar prohibition.

How does exposure to BBP occur?

  • BBP can be gradually released from consumer products and is found at low levels in indoor environments such as homes, schools, day care centers, and offices.
  • During pregnancy, BBP can pass from mother to baby.

How can I reduce my exposure to BBP?

  • Avoid plastics known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl (with recycle code 3).
  • Minimize exposure to dust, which can contain BBP:
    • Wash your hands and your child’s hands frequently, especially before preparing food and eating.
    • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop if possible, or a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
    • Wipe up dust regularly, using a damp cloth.

For more information:

Scientific Information on BBP

Proposition 65

  • California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
    Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Posted August 2017

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