What is a Phthalate?
Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are esters of plastic. They are mainly used as plasticizers, i.e. substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Phthalates also make plastics harder to break. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. Many phthalates are banned for use in children’s toys.
Phthalates are also found in modern electronics and medical applications such as catheters, blood transfusion devices, vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic cloths (raincoats), personal care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes). plastic packaging film and sheets, garden hoses, inflatable toys, and some children’s toys
Many pet foods are kept in plastic packaging. Additionally, there are many other sources of phthalate exposure in processed pet foods. Extrusion and processing machinery must be cared for with lubricants, many foods are coated with flavor enhancers, flavor maskers, preservatives, fortification complexes and chemical desiccation agents.