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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate; DEHP; Phthalic Acid, bis(2-ethylhexyl)ester; Di-sec octyl phthalate; DOP; Octyl phthalate

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1015

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 117-81-7

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: TI0350000

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Di-sec octyl phthalate: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 5 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Di-sec octyl phthalate (Di-(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate))

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 5 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Di-sec octyl phthalate (Di-(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate))

Maritime Industry: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 5 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Di-sec octyl phthalate (Di-(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate))

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 5.0 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 5 mg/m3 TWA; 10 mg/m3 STEL; Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens (REL listed under Di-sec octyl phthalate)

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Group B2, probable human carcinogen

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Group 3, not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans [103 KB PDF, 36 pages]

National Toxicology Program (NTP): Reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen [156 KB PDF, 3 pages]

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 5,000 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms:
Eye, mucous membrane irritation; in animals: liver damage; teratogenic effects; [potential occupational carcinogen]

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat---Mild (HE16)

Affected Organs: Eyes, respiratory system, CNS, liver, reproductive system, GI tract


  1. Di-(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) is an OSHA Select Carcinogen. However, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis (liver tumors) in rats and mice may not be relevant to human exposures.
  2. Endocrine disrupting effects in rats including loss of spermatogenesis in males and anovulation in females, as well as teratogenicity in offspring, have been reported. However, evidence is lacking to indicate that DEHP-induced developmental and reproductive toxicity observed in animals (both sexes) can occur in humans.
  3. DEHP-metabolizing enzymes include lipase, alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, UDP-glucuronyl transferase, and the cytochrome P450 system.
  4. Five metabolites were quantified in urine after oral administration of labeled DEHP to a human volunteer, who excreted about 75% of the dose in urine in 44 hours. The most abundant metabolite was mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl)phthalate (24% of the dose).
  5. EPA's oral reference dose (daily oral exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime) for DEHP is 0.02 mg/kg/day.

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Di-sec octyl phthalate.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.
  • EPA Air Toxics Website: Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
  • Foster, P.M.D., Mylchreest, E., Guido, K.W. and Sar, M.: Effects of phthalate esters on the developing reproductive tract of male rats. Human Reprod. Update 7(3): 231-235, 2001.
  • Koch, H.M., Bolt, H.M., Preuss, R. and Angerer, J.: New metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) in human urine and serum after single oral doses of deuterium-labelled DEHP. Arch. Toxicol. 79(7): 367-376, 2005.
  • Lovekamp-Swan, T. and Davis, B.J.: Mechanisms of phthalate ester toxicity in the female reproductive system. Environ. Health Perspect. 111(2): 139-145, 2003.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Di(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 873-876.
  • Shea, K.M. and American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Environmental Health. Pediatric exposure and potential toxicity of phthalate plasticizers. Pediatrics 111(6 Pt. 1): 1467-1474, 2003.
  • Tickner, J.A., Schettler, T., Guidotti, T., McCally, M. and Rossi, M.: Health risks posed by use of di-2-ethyhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in PVC medical devices: a critical review. Am. J. Ind. Med. 39(1): 100-111, 2001.

Date Last Revised: 09/06/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: OSHA Versatile Sampler (OVS-Tenax) - 13 mm Tenax Tube (140/70 mg sections) with a glass fiber filter enclosed.
    analytical solvent: Toluene
    maximum volume:
    240 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA 104)
    method classification: Fully Validated

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