Di-m-octyl phthalate

Di-m-octyl phthalate

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Credit: DR MARK J. WINTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP). Computer artwork of a molecule of DNOP. It has the chemical formula C24.H38.O4. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (grey), hydrogen (blue) and oxygen (red). Phthalates are a group of compounds widely used as plasticisers, substances that soften plastics. Phthalates do not chemically bind to the plastic and so readily leach out of it. This, with evidence that they may be carcinogenic, disrupt hormones and cause organ damage, led the European Union in June 2005 to ban the use of DNOP and other phthalates in toys and childcare articles that children could put in their mouths where their concentration exceeds 0.1% of the mass of the material.

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Keywords: allergen, artwork, banned, carcinogen, chemical, chemistry, compound, computer artwork, dangerous, di-n-octyl phthalate, dnop, hazardous, illegal, illustration, molecular, molecule, phthalate ester, plasticiser, pollutant, pollution, toxic

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