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Phthalates (pronounced THA-lates) are a group of chemicals that can make products (usually plastics) softer and more flexible. They are sometimes called plasticizers, but many other chemicals are also called plasticizers.
Phthalates are used in a range of products, including:
- polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which is a specific type of plastic used in some products, such as shower curtains
- medical plastics, such as PVC IV bags and tubes
- children’s toys and supplies
- cosmetics, such as nail polish and perfumes
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