Know Your Ingredients: Dibutyl Phthalate

Dibutyl phthalate

What it is
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) is a colorless and oily liquid made by reacting phthalic acid with butyl alcohol.

What it does
Dibutyl Phthalate is used in nail polishes as a plasticizer: it softens synthetic polimers by diminishing cracking and brittleness.
The ingredient also acts as a solvent to keep the ingredients dissolved and dispersed in cosmetics products, especially fragrances.

Side effects
Dibutyl Phthalate can cause allergic reactions.
In addition, it has been in study done on pregnant mice to cause reproductive organ abnormality. However, there is as yet no proof that, in the minuscule concentrations used in cosmetics, it is harmful to human health.

(Sources: Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Volume 73, 2010, and Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, February 2009)
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