Independent panel to evaluate a chemical used in some plastics for hazards to human health

October 04, 2005

What: An independent panel of 11 scientists convened by the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR), of the NIEHS and National Toxicology Program, will review recent scientific data and reach conclusions regarding whether or not exposure to DEHP (di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) is a hazard to human development or reproduction. The 2.5 day meeting is open to members of the public and the media. A press availability period will immediately follow the meeting at approximately noon on October 12th.

When: Monday, October 10, 2005, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 11, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 12, 8:30a.m.- noon
Press Availability: Wednesday, October 12, approximately 12-1p.m.

Where: Carlyle Room, 5th floor
Holiday Inn Old Town,
480 King Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: 1-703-549-6080
Fax: 1-703-684-6508

Why: A wide variety of consumer products including cosmetics, building and car materials, clothing, food packaging, some children's toys, and even some medical devices often contain chemicals referred to as phthalates. Phthalates are added to plastics to increase their flexibility. DEHP (di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), which is used to make some medical tubing and other devices, has been shown in animal studies to be hazardous at high levels of exposure. Vulnerable populations such as critically ill newborns may be exposed to higher levels than the general population due to the extensive medical procedures they undergo. Since the review of DEHP by a CERHR expert panel in 2000, approximately 150 new papers relevant to this evaluation have been published. Therefore there is a need to conduct an updated evaluation of the potential toxicities of DEHP. The draft report is available for review at

Background: The Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) was established by the NIEHS as part of the National Toxicology Program in 1998. The CERHR convenes a scientific expert panel that meets in a public forum to review, discuss, and evaluate the scientific literature on a selected chemical. CERHR selects chemicals for evaluation based upon several factors including production volume, extent of human exposure, public concern, and the extent of published information on reproductive or developmental toxicity. The NTP is an HHS program established in 1978 that is headquartered at the NIEHS, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIEHS Director, Dr. David A. Schwartz, serves as the NTP Director.

Registration: No registration is required. Members of the press interested in attending or conducting on-site or phone interviews with any of the scientists, please contact Robin Mackar at (919) 541-0073 or by email at She will schedule interviews for the press availability period immediately following the meeting. Details about the meeting, including panelists and agenda, are posted on the NTP website

Duke University Medical Center

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