Publication Title

Personal Care Products: Where are the Phthalates?

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Publication Date



Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals that are commonly used in personal care products to help prevent products from drying out. Phthalates have been shown to have potential negative impacts on reproductive organs, causing birth defects, affecting the endocrine system, as well as causing other ill effects. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) uses a pump to pass solvents through a column providing the separation, and with an ultraviolet (UV) detector, a measurement of substances found within that specific sample. Phthalates in urine can be separated, identified, and quantified using HPLC. To test the procedure and to calibrate the instrument, caffeine was used as an example compound. Four concentrations of caffeine were analyzed in triplicate and subjected to regression analysis. Retention time and peak area were obtained to see when caffeine elutes during the HPLC run. Caffeine is detected by the HPLC around 9 minutes in retention time. The peak area correlated with the concentrations, with the largest peak area being 1 g/mL caffeine. The R-squared value was 0.9887, showing the linearity of the relationship between peak area and concentration. This research will help contribute to the method validation of the HPLC when urine samples containing phthalate metabolites, are run. This research project is looking to test for the quantity of phthalate metabolites in the urine of college age females after exposure to personal care products, specifically nail polish. Upon completion of this research we hope to further understand the exposure to phthalates from personal care products have on college-age females.


Lynn University Arts and Sciences Student Symposium


Poster Presentation


Boca Raton, FL


College of Arts and Sciences


Poster presented at the College of Arts and Sciences Student Symposium, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL.

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