Thermo Fisher Scientific has developed an efficient high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method using ultraviolet detection for the simultaneous determination in drinking water of all 19 phthalate compounds listed in key environmental regulatory documents. Application Note 1045: Determination of Phthalates in Drinking Water by UHPLC with UV Detection demonstrates that the phthalates listed in European Union Directive 2005/84/EC, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Methods 606 and 8061A, the Chinese HJ/T 72-2001, and the Standardization Administration of China GB/T 20388-2006 and GB/T 21911-2008 are well separated on a reversed-phase HPLC column in less than 25 minutes.
Phthalates are a class of chemical compounds widely used as plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride resins, adhesives, and cellulose film coating. Phthalates are potentially hazardous to human health—especially to children’s health—due to their classification as endocrine disruptors. This has resulted in regulations regarding the types and levels of phthalates allowable in plastic toys, water containers, textiles, and foods.