I’ve heard a lot of concerns about chemicals called phthalates leaching out of vinyl products like toys and medical products. Can you explain this?
Phthalates are one kind of plasticizer used in vinyl products to make them flexible. Because of the nature of the vinyl compound, the phthalates used in flexible vinyl products are locked in or tightly held in the finished product. Although it is possible for minute quantities of phthalate plasticizers to leach from vinyl products, study after study has shown that products containing phthalates do not pose a health hazard.(9) This issue has received public attention recently as a result of a media campaign being led by some environmental groups. They have been successful in capturing attention worldwide despite the growing number of scientists declaring the safety of phthalate-plasticized vinyl products. Certainly the best endorsement of the safety of flexible vinyl products came from former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop. Dr. Koop led an international panel of distinguished scientists and doctors who reviewed all of the current science on phthalates in vinyl toys and medical prod