PHTHALATES: A PRIORITY ORGANIC POLLUTANT OR NOT?

Obolo Emmanuel Idowu

Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos

Email Address:idobolo@yahoo.com

Phone: +234 (806) 514-4017

Abstract
Phthalates as plasticizers are not chemically bound to the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic rather they are entangled within the matrix, thus making leaching, migration, and evaporation into the three compartments of the environment and their confinement not a herculean task. Consequently, human is at the risk of life time exposure through ingestion, inhalation, dermal, and intrauterine contacts. This paper is an overview of the source, environmental chemistry, and potential human health effects of environmental exposure to phthalates. It aims to evaluate the evidence and make recommendations for whether these substances should be classified as priority organic pollutants. Phthalates possess some of the characteristics of chemicals that are classified as priority organic pollutant; they are environmental contaminant, endocrine disruptor, and suspected carcinogen. To be on the safer side it is recommended that they should be classified as priority organic pollutant.
Key words: Phthalates; Plasticizers; Priority organic pollutant.