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"Good" and "Bad" Phthalates?

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makemineirish

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I have been planning to make a spendy purchase of fragrances from some new suppliers. While companies like Bramble Berry and Mad Oils readily disclose which fragrances are phthalate-free and which are not, there are some reputable vendors that make distinctions between "good" and "bad" phthalates. Lone Star Candle Supply is not one of the vendors that I am looking at, but in the interest of brevity, they do have a page with the information that has been provided to me almost verbatim by those suppliers that I emailed about this issue. (I am not much of a conspiracy theorist but am a bit leery when everyone is reading from the same script.)

http://www.lonestarcandlesupply.com...bptlIjIH6UbfyMC012x2AI2jRu16mxCJc4BoC3g3w_wcB

I am in the process of trying to track down scientific journal articles that support or debunk these statements. However, I hoped that I could appeal to the collective wisdom on this forum. Is it fair to differentiate between phthalates or is this just PR propaganda?

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
 

not_ally

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Interesting article. I researched phthalate issues a bit and came to the conclusion that the negative human health effects were not established, espec. with respect to wash off products. Also CA Prop 65 is a terrible indicator of what is actually harmful. Some of the chemicals on that list are, many of them are a terrible case of over-warning and do more harm than good (this I do know a lot about from working on Prop 65 litigation.)
 
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makemineirish

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Interesting article. I researched phthalate issues a bit and came to the conclusion that the negative human health effects were not established, espec. with respect to wash off products. Also CA Prop 65 is a terrible indicator of what is actually harmful. Some of the chemicals on that list are, most of them are a terrible case of over-warning and do more harm than good (this I do know a lot about from working on Prop 65 litigation.)
My research indicated that phthalates were endocrine diruptors. I understand that a lot of soapers opt to avoid fragrance oils entirely by using essential oils. However, that is no guarantee in avoiding skin sensitivities and some EO's come with serious health considerations (such as oakmoss). More importantly, many are simply not environmentally sustainable. My preference is to use phthalate-free fragrance oils and some responsibly sourced essential oils. I do realize that there is less of a concern with wash off products, but I still feel that there is a concern. Besides, I live a messy life and wash often:D

My bigger qualm is that while cold process is a primary consideration in fragrance selection, I use the oils in a number of topical, leave-on applications (perfume, lotion, massage oil, etc). I have simply not encountered a company that differentiates between "good" and "bad" pthalates before. The response I received from a vendor that I really wanted to try was this:

Thank you for your inquiry!

We have studied the phthalate issue. While some of our fragrances do have a solvent that contains a trace of ONE specific type of phthalate (DEP), they DO NOT contain any of the bad ones. There are many types of phthalates, some good, some bad and a lot of misleading press lately has confused the issue. I’ll enclose a statement released by the RIFM (Research Institute for Fragrance Materials) that better explains the issue. Please rest assured that Sweet Cakes fragrances are safe to use and we would never offer an unsafe product. Also, we do not keep a list of fragrances which do and which do not contain DEP.

Here's the statement released by the RIFM:

<<Recent misleading reports on the use of phthalates as fragrance
ingredients have raised questions regarding their safety in consumer products. Not all phthalates have safety concerns. Diethyl phthalate (DEP), as used in fragrances, is safe for human health and the environment. The fragrance industry would like to make clear that consumers can use fragranced products containing DEP with confidence.

"Phthalates" is a broad term that refers to a wide variety of compounds of differing chemical structure. General, undifferentiating statements about "phthalate toxicity" have created confusion about potential safety concerns that are in fact only associated with specific materials within this group.
Safety concerns have been raised most recently about Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) and Diethyl Hexyl Phthalate (DEHP). However, neither DBP nor DEHP is permitted for use in cosmetic products in Europe (or Sweet Cakes fragrances). On a global basis they have never been important as fragrance ingredients and today their use in fragrances is virtually nil. As in so many other examples, broad generalizations of hazard or risk can be misleading and lead to unfounded public concern.

For example, nobody would consider all berries or mushrooms unsafe, though specific types have a known toxicity at certain levels.

DEP, which continues to be used in fragrance applications, DOES NOT have the safety concerns raised for DBP or DEHP. DEP was recently re-examined by authorities and expert scientific groups both in the U.S. and Europe. The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, as well as the U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel have reaffirmed that DEP is safe for use in cosmetic products. Moreover, DEP is present in consumer products at extremely low levels.>>

I hope this helps make this issue more clear.

If you have any additional questions or comment, please feel free to email me.
The response that I received and the linked page from a semi-local chandler supply are a bit repetitive as they are quoting from the same source material. I am still hunting down articles, but hoped that someone here might have read something about DEP specifically, good or bad.http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 
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Susie

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I am one of those soapers that avoids the whole phthalate issue by using only EOs. I get migraines from most "not from nature" type scents out in the world (including Lysol spray, all air freshener products that are not citrus EO based, perfumes, etc). This may or may not be phthalates. I don't know. I just know that I don't want to spend a lot of money on FOs, only to discover that I can't tolerate them.
 

JayJay

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I have been trying to avoid them, just to be on the safe side. I have read many posts on this forum discouraging worry over absorbing anything into the skin from the use of soap. Still, I wonder how glycerine stays on the skin, but nothing else does. Maybe I don't have enough scientific information to understand the mechanisms involved. But when in doubt, I like to be on the safe side.

There are some companies that don't even disclose whether phthalates are present in their FO. I think that suppliers should prominently display this information. I have some items in my Sweet Cakes shopping cart right now that I am reluctant to purchase because I don't see a disclosure.
 

makemineirish

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There are some companies that don't even disclose whether phthalates are present in their FO. I think that suppliers should prominently display this information. I have some items in my Sweet Cakes shopping cart right now that I am reluctant to purchase because I don't see a disclosure.
The vendor response quoted in my previous post is from Sweet Cakes and the impetus for my post. I am interested in placing an order from them, but still trying to make a decision on the validity of their statements. Their fragrances are not phthalate-free, but they make a distinction between "good" and "bad" phthalates. I am still trying to find scientific, peer-reviewed information supporting or debunking their statements. I too, prefer to err on the side of caution.
 

galaxyMLP

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I looked it up.

Looks like compared to some other phthalates that Diethyl phthalate is not nearly as bad. Here are some links I found that reference some studies on epidermal absorption rates. If you search throught the page you can find some studies on the reproductive toxicity (or lack there of) in rats. I'm just providing theses links although I havent read all of the sections.

Di ETHYL Phthalate, the stuff in our FO's
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/6781#section=Top

Di BUTYL Phthalate (for comparision)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/3026
 
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paillo

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In my opinion there is no such thing as a 'good' phthalate, only bad and not so bad. Since the science is still inconclusive, I avoid FOs with them like the plague, and do not order unless there's clear labeling as phthalate free. There's a lot we don't know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including the possibility of multiplied effects of combinations of chemicals.

And I'm so glad that our knowledge has progressed enough that in this forum we can freely question the safety of phthalates. It's a reasonable and appropriate topic for discussion, sharing of science, rebuttals, etc. Several years ago I was kicked out of another forum for politely dissenting with the mod about her insistence that all phthalates are safe -- and the industry-funded science she was was using to back her opinions.

Just another reason I love this forum :)
 
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shunt2011

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I too made the decision not to use them. If not listed as such I don't purchase it. A risk I'd rather not take.
 
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