What Is Phthalate?
Phthalates , or phthalate esters, are esters of phthalic acid. They are mainly used as plasticizers, i.e., substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. They are used primarily to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Lower-molecular-weight phthalates, those derived from C3-C6 alcohols, are being gradually replaced in many products in the United States, Canada, and European Union over health concerns. They are replaced by high-molecular-weight phthalates (those with more than 6 carbons in their backbone, which gives them increased permanency and durability). In 2010, the market was still dominated by high-phthalate plasticizers; however, due to legal provisions and growing environmental awareness and perceptions, producers are increasingly forced to use non-phthalate plasticizers.
Dioctyl terephthalate (bis(2-ethylhexyl) benzene-1,4-dicarboxylate or Di(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate), commonly abbreviated DOTP or DEHT, is an organic compound with the formula C6H4(CO2C8H17)2. It is a non-phthalate plasticizer, being the diester of terephthalic acid and the branched-chain 2-ethylhexanol. This colorless viscous liquid used for softening PVC plastics is known for chemical similarity to general purpose phthalates such as DEHP and DINP, but without any negative regulatory pressure. It possesses very good plasticizing properties and may be used as a direct replacement for DEHP and DINP in many applications.
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