Phthalates are a group of molecules containing a benzene ring and two carboxylic groups, which may have different alkyl chains.
Use of phthalates
Phthalates are transparent, colourless, viscous liquids and are used as plasticisers in industry. They add flexibility, transparency, and durability to plastics. They are particularly used in some food packaging.
Risks of phthalates
Phthalates can leach from containers into foods. Their effects on health have not been clearly established yet.
Chemical formula of the phthalates. © Bryan Derksen, Wikimedia, public domain