A thorough scientific Risk Assessment has been conducted by the European Union authorities to ensure that people are not put at risk from the use of DEHP. As a result, appropriate measures to eliminate the few potential risks identified have already been agreed and, in most cases, have already been put in place. The use of DEHP in its current applications is therefore safe. Please refer to the EU risk assessment and risk reduction reports for more information.
DEHP is readily absorbed and distributed in the body, but it does not accumulate as our bodies very quickly excrete it.
Numerous scientific studies have been carried out to investigate whether exposure to DEHP is likely to have any short or long term effects on humans but most scientists agree that any effects that have been seen do not pose a threat to the health of the general population.
It is recognised that some medical patients, such as prematurely born male neonates, may be highly exposed to DEHP from certain medical devices. However, as there is still no conclusive evidence that they might be harmed by such exposure, doctors and medical practitioners generally weigh the small risk against the very large benefits that such life-saving medical devices can bring. Please refer to the section on medical vaping applications for more information.
The EU risk assessment concludes there is no concern for acute toxicity, irritation or sensitising effects, carcinogenicity or mutagenicity. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also states that DEHP is “not classifiable as to carcinogenicity to humans”.
DEHP is not persistent or bioaccumulative and is classified as readily biodegradable. Furthermore, a recent two-generation fish study has confirmed the overall conclusion that DEHP has no adverse effects on any aquatic organisms via food or water. There are also no adverse effects to sediment dwelling organisms at levels up to 1,000 times those found in the environment.