Phthalates are a series of widely used chemicals that demonstrate to be endocrine disruptors and are detrimental to human health. Phthalates can be found in most products that have contact with plastics during producing, packaging, or delivering. Despite the short half-lives in tissues, chronic exposure to phthalates will adversely influence the endocrine system and functioning of multiple organs, which has negative long-term impacts on the success of pregnancy, child growth and development, and reproductive systems in both young children and adolescents. Several countries have established restrictions and regulations on some types of phthalates; however, we think that more countries should establish constraints or substitute measures for phthalates to reduce health risks. This article aims to summarize the adverse impacts of phthalates on human health, analyze the toxicity mechanism, assess the risks, and finally provide feasible strategies to reduce exposure of the public to phthalates.
Keywords: child growth; endocrine disruptors; health impact; plastics; risk assessment.