Diethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP) (CAS No. 117-81-7)

Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is a chemical compound primarily used as a plasticizer to increase the flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity of plastic materials. It belongs to the class of chemicals known as phthalates, which are esters of phthalic acid.
Usage in Cosmetics:
DEHP is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a solvent for fragrance ingredients and as a denaturant in alcohol products. It helps to dissolve and carry fragrances in products such as perfumes, deodorants, and lotions. Additionally, DEHP is used in formulations of mouthwashes and nail polishes due to its solubilizing and stabilizing properties.

Other Names or Synonyms:
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
Dioctyl phthalate

Skin Sensitivities and Allergies:
DEHP is known to be a potential human carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. It may cause skin irritation or sensitization in individuals with sensitive skin or pre-existing skin conditions. The chemical has the potential to trigger allergic reactions in some people, although the frequency and severity of such reactions can vary widely.

Risks and Regulations:
Due to its associated health risks, DEHP has been subjected to regulatory scrutiny and has been banned or restricted in several regions. For instance, in California under Assembly Bill No. 496 (CHAPTER 441), effective January 1, 2025, the manufacturing, selling, delivering, holding, or offering for sale in commerce any cosmetic product containing DEHP is prohibited. The regulation is aimed at safeguarding public health by preventing exposure to hazardous substances.

Ban Details:
The California ban on DEHP in cosmetics is part of a broader legislative effort to improve cosmetic safety. This legislation commencing on January 1, 2025, targets several specified intentionally added ingredients in cosmetic products, with DEHP listed as one of the banned substances due to its potential health hazards. The move reflects a growing concern about the presence of harmful substances in cosmetics and personal care products, particularly for consumers with sensitive skin.

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