Di phthalate
EPA Designation Regulated
EPA Classification Organic Chemicals
EPA Levels 1,2 zero MCLG (mg/L)
0.006 MCLG (mg/L)
Alternative Names 2-ethylhexyl
Sources Discharge from rubber and chemical factories
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is a pollutant from rubber and industrial chemical factories and a leachate from PVC pipes; it is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen.


Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is the most commonly used of a group of related chemicals called phthalates or phthalic acid esters.


The greatest use of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is as a plasticizer for polyvinylchloride (PVC) and other polymers including rubber, cellulose and styrene. A number of packaging materials and tubings used in the production of foods and beverages are polyvinylchloride contaminated with phthalic aced esters, primarily di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.

Health Effects

Some people who drink water containing di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate well in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for many years may have problems with their liver, or could experience reproductive difficulties and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

EPA Data Source: Di phthalate

EPA Definitions:

1Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

(TT) Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.