Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Composition of colorful cleaning and hair care products isolated on white.
Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is used as a plasticizer in thousands of PVC products. Safe Home offers a few kits that provide drinking water testing for Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in city water and well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Semi-Volatile Organics

Parameter Name: Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer, also known as 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid bis(2- ethylhexyl)ester, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and dioctyl phthalate (DOP). Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP is used primarily as a plasticizer in many flexible polyvinyl chloride products and in vinyl chloride co-polymer resins. It is also used as a replacement for polychlorinated biphenyls in dielectric fluids for small (low-voltage) electrical capacitors. You may be exposed to Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP through drinking water, but it is not known how common this is. If you drink water from a well located near a landfill or waste site, you may be exposed to higher-than average levels of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for semi-volatiles can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP, at the levels found in the environment, is not expected to cause adverse health effects in humans. Short-term oral exposures to levels of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP much higher than those found in the environment interfered with sperm formation in mice and rats. These effects were reversible, but sexual maturity was delayed when the animals were exposed before puberty. Short-term exposures to low levels of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP appeared to have no effect on male fertility. Studies of long-term exposures in rats and mice have shown that high oral doses of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP caused health effects mainly in the liver and testes. These effects were induced by levels of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP that are much higher than those received by humans from environmental exposures. Toxicity of Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP in other tissues is less well characterized, although effects in the thyroid, ovaries, kidneys, and blood have been reported in a few animal studies. The potential for kidney effects is a concern for humans because this organ is exposed to Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP during dialysis and because structural and functional kidney changes have been observed in some exposed rats. Since changes in the kidneys of long-term dialysis patients might be due to the underlying kidney disease, and kidney changes have not been consistently seen in animals exposed to Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP, the significance of the rat kidney changes is not clear.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

After drinking water testing, what is the next step? Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate can be removed by a water filter system that uses granular activated carbon (GAC). A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. Activated carbon is a porous material that removes organic compounds from liquids and gases by a process known as “adsorption.” In adsorption, organic molecules contained in a liquid or gas are attracted and bound to the surface of the pores of the activated carbon as the liquid or gas is passed through. Adsorption occurs on the internal surface of activated carbon, termed the adsorbent. During adsorption, liquids or gases pass through the highly porous structure of the activated carbon. The compound(s) to be removed, termed the adsorbate(s), diffuses to the surface of the adsorbent, and is retained because of attractive forces. The primary raw material used in the production of our activated carbons is bituminous coal that is crushed, sized, and processed in low temperature bakers followed by high-temperature activation furnaces. Activation develops the pore structure of the carbon. Through adjustments in the activation process, differentiated pores for a particular purification application are developed. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

MCL’s: 0.006 ppm
MCLG’s: None

Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types


Important Terms

  • MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
  • MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
  • ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
  • PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.
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