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The influence of resource strategies on childhood phthalate exposure--the role of REACH in a zero waste society.

Environment international (2014-09-13)
Jihyun Lee, Anders Branth Pedersen, Marianne Thomsen
ABSTRACT

The present study aims to investigate how resource strategies, which intend to reduce waste and increase recycling, influence on human exposure to hazardous chemicals from material recycling. In order to examine the flows of hazardous chemicals in recycled material, a mass flow analysis of plastics and paper at European level, including the flow of phthalates, i.e. di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), and benzyl-butyl phthalate (BBP), has been performed. The result for the year 2012 shows that 26% of plastic wastes and 60% of paper consumed in Europe were recycled. This corresponds to the finding that approximately 4% of DEHP and BBP and 18% of DBP annual demands in Europe as raw material re-enter the product cycle with recycled plastics and paper. To examine the potential contribution of the phthalate exposure through recycled plastics and paper, a case study assessing the childhood exposures to phthalates from foods packed in recycled paper and plastics has been performed for 2-year-old children in Denmark. The result verifies that an increase in recycled paperboard and PET bottles in food packaging material causes a significant increase in childhood exposure to DBP corresponding to an additional exposure of 0.116-0.355 μg/kg bw/day; up to 18% of the total DBP exposure in Danish 2-year-olds. While most of the DEHP exposure can be explained, more than 50% of DBP and 70% of BBP exposure sources still remain to be identified. Finally, a conceptual framework for a circular economy based on sustainable and clean resource flows is proposed in order to increase material recycling without increasing adverse health effects.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate solution, certified reference material, 2000 μg/mL in methanol
Plastic additive 01, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard
Dibutyl phthalate, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Supelco
Benzyl butyl phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Supelco
Di-n-butyl phthalate solution, certified reference material, 5000 μg/mL in methanol
Sigma-Aldrich
Dibutyl phthalate, 99%
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Selectophore
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, Selectophore
Supelco
Benzyl butyl phthalate, analytical standard
Supelco
Dibutyl phthalate, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
Supelco
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, PESTANAL®, analytical standard
Sigma-Aldrich
Benzyl butyl phthalate, 98%
Sigma-Aldrich
Dioctyl phthalate, ≥99.5%