Phthalates contamination in China: Status, trends and human exposure-with an emphasis on oral intake

Wei Wang, Anna Oi Wah Leung, Lam Hang Chu, Ming Hung Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the extensive production and use of phthalates in Asian countries, especially China, limited information is available about the current situation of human exposure in this region, and thus identification of further research needs is warranted. This review summarized the current trends of phthalates related to industrial production and human exposure by conducting a comprehensive assessment of phthalates contaminations in air, indoor dust, personal care products (PCPs), foodstuff and internal exposure in China, with comparisons with other countries. The concentrations of phthalates in indoor dust and PCPs in China were moderate, while concentrations in foods and air were among the highest worldwide. Dietary intake of phthalates varied with location, with hotspots in the southern and eastern coastal regions of China which correlated with the extensive industrial production recorded in these regions. This review firstly revealed the significantly differentiated food-type contribution profiles for phthalates in China and in other countries, which were affected by dietary habits and food contamination. The internal exposure for the Chinese population was found to be moderate, however there is a paucity of data available. Knowledge gaps identified concerning phthalates in China include trends in phthalates exposure, sources (e.g. PCPs, pharmaceuticals and medical treatment), and internal exposure derived from biomonitoring, warranting phthalates a research priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-782
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Biomonitoring
  • Contents
  • Dietary intake
  • Food
  • Health effects
  • Phthalate esters


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