Date Assignment Submitted
Phthalates are plasticizers which are added to many materials to increase their flexibility, durability, longevity, and transparency. These compounds are commonly found in personal-care products, plastic bottles, medical tubing, and in foods (Centers for Disease Control, n.d). Due to their prevalence in our everyday lives, and their ability to act as endocrine disruptors in humans, knowing the exact source of phthalate exposure is of interest to public health. One common source is the contact between food we consume and the plastic containers they are stored in. This study was conducted to determine thepresence of phthalates in disposable water bottles after incubation at three different temperatures to determine the optimal storage temperature that would expel the least amount of phthalates. Over the course of eight weeks, water bottles were incubated at 4°C, 29°C, and 40°C. The water samples from each condition were extracted every two weeks to detect the level of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection. The relative concentration was then plotted over time. It was hypothesized that water stored at higher temperatures would have higher levels of DMP compared to water stored in colder temperatures (Al-Saleh, 2011). However, we found that bottled water stored at higher temperatures over the course of eight weeks contained lower levels of DMP over time compared to bottled water stored at cooler temperatures. The phthalate levels obtained were low, however these chemicals should still not be dismissed due to the health issues which could arise from exposure.
Lynn University Student Research Symposium
Boca Raton, FL
College of Arts and Sciences
Gouws, G., Pintilie, E., & Doctor, E. L. (2023, April 7). Plastic water bottles, source of phthalates? [Poster presentation]. Lynn University Student Research Symposium, Boca Raton, FL, United States.