Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)
Posted July 2017
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
- California Environmental Protection Agency
Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
Scientific Information on DBP
- US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS), National Toxicology Program (NTP)
- Di-n-butyl Phthalate (DBP)