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Phthalates are a class of chemicals predominantly used as plasticizers in many plastics since the 1930's, in a wide variety of manufacturing applications and consumer products. Given their extensive use and their leakage from plastics, they are ubiquitous environmental contaminants with potential detrimental health effects. Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is the most commonly used phthalate plasticizer. There is widespread exposure to phthalates in the general population and therefore it is importat to investigate the toxic potential of these compounds. In particular, phthalate exposure has been shown to cause developmental and reproductive anomalies in animal models, and there is concern that these compounds may be causing adverse effects on human reproductive health. Phthalate effects are suspected to be much more severe after in uterus exposure. Phthalate esters are considered endocrine balance and development of the mammalian testis, thus exerting harmful effects on mammalian reproduction and fertility. Health risk assessments for the phthalate exposure of the general population should be performed and current PVC plasticizers, especially the ones used for infants should be replaces with high quality materials.
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