A National Research Council Committee report says that “. . . [t]he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should examine whether combined exposures to chemicals known as phthalates could cause adverse health effects in humans. The Committee goes on to say the examination, called a cumulative risk assessment, should consider other chemicals that could potentially cause the same health effects as phthalates, instead of focusing on chemicals that are similar in structure. The latter approach is EPA's current practice. Also, the Committee calls on EPA to consider using the recommended approach for future cumulative risk assessments on other kinds of chemicals.
The NRC says that “ . . . phthalates are used in a wide variety of consumer products, such as cosmetics, medical devices, children's toys, and building materials. In light of concerns, the European Union and the United States have passed legislation that restricts the concentrations of several phthalates in children's toys, and the European Union has also banned several phthalates from cosmetics. EPA asked the Research Council to recommend whether it should conduct a cumulative risk assessment for phthalates, and if so, how it should be framed.”