A concern on phthalate pollution of herbal extracts/medicines and detection methods

Document Type : Review


Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Esters of phthalates, mainly applied as plasticizer, cause several human health and environment    hazards. Phthalates are widely used in pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, as well as other plastic commercial products, and can penetrate in foods, water dusts, and air leading to ingestion and inhalation exposure followed by skin absorption for human. These compounds cause serious adverse effects on human health like destroying the endocrine system, and consequently developmental alterations and reproductive changes through induction of inflammation and oxidative stress. Some phthalates are able to bio-accumulate in water and have been isolated from aquatic organisms. Mammals and birds may be influenced by these compounds through food chain. Therefore, simple and rapid method for identification and quantification of these compounds is a debate especially for developing countries. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy has been successfully employed to determine and measure these compounds in volatile fractions of the plant or the algal materials without more essential chemical reactions. In this article, a rapid review on phthalate toxicity and related analysis methods to detect them in herbal extracts is presented.


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