Di-n-butyl Phthalate (DBP)

Why am I being warned about potential exposure to DBP?

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

What is DBP?

  • DBP is an oily liquid that belongs to a family of chemicals called phthalates, which are added to some plastics to make them flexible. 
  • DBP is used in various consumer products, including:
    • Some wire and cable insulation, gloves, tubing, garden hoses, shoes, and personal care products, including some perfumes and other products containing fragrances, and nail polishes.
  • California law prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution of children’s toys and childcare articles containing DBP at levels greater than 0.1%.  US law has a similar prohibition.

How does exposure to DBP occur?

  • DBP can be absorbed into the body through contact with DBP-containing cosmetics household products and other products.
  • DBP can be gradually released from consumer products into indoor environments such as homes, schools, daycare centers, and offices.
  • During pregnancy, DBP can pass from mother to baby.

How can I reduce my exposure to DBP?

  • Avoid plastics known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl (with recycle code 3).
  • Choose personal care products that are identified as “phthalate-free” or “fragrance-free”.
  • Minimize exposure to dust, which can contain DBP:
    • Wash your hands and your child’s hands frequently, especially before preparing food and eating.
    • Clean 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:

General DBP Fact Sheets and Resources

Scientific Information on DBP

Proposition 65

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

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