The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) convened a Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) on Phthalates found in children's toys, and childcare products, and in products used by women of childbearing age. The CHAP conducted a risk assessment on phthalates and phthalate substitutes, and made recommendations to either ban, impose an interim ban, or allow the continued use of phthalates and phthalate substitutes in the above products. After a review of the literature, the evaluation included toxic end points of primary concern, biomonitoring results, extant exposure reconstruction, and epidemiological results. The health end points chosen were associated with the rat phthalate syndrome, which is characterized by malformations of the epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, external genitalia (hypospadias), and by cryptorchidism (undescended testes), retention of nipples/areolae, and demasculinization (~incomplete masculinization) of the perineum, resulting in reduced anogenital distance. Risk assessment demonstrated that some phthalates should be permanently banned, removed from the banned list, or remain interim banned. Biomonitoring and toxicology data provided the strongest basis for a mixture risk assessment. In contrast, external exposure data were the weakest and need to be upgraded for epidemiological studies and risk assessments. Such studies would focus on routes and sources. The review presents recommendations and uncertainties. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology (2015) 25, 343-353; doi:10.1038/jes.2015.33; published online 6 May 2015 Keywords: biomonitoring; Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel; Consumer Product Safety Commission; phthalates; risk assessment
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