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RoHS Testing

Phthalates are frequently used as plasticizers, but due to health concerns, the permissible content of phthalates in consumer products is being regulated.

About Phthalates

In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) mandated limits on the permissible content of phthalates in certain consumer products.  We can determine the specific phthalates that are incorporated into a product, and the concentration of each component, by using Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS).  We invite you to watch a time lapse video  which shows the effects of phthalates on chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe.  


The supplied product is typically extracted with a solvent, and the extraction solvent becomes the analytical sample.  Typically, Gas Chromatography coupled with Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) is the method used to separate complex mixtures of polymer additives, provide identification of the individual plasticizer chemicals, and the concentration of each. We routinely test products for the six phthalates specifically mentioned in Section 108 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.  The following are the phthalates regulated by the CPSIA:

  • di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)
  • diisononyl phthalate (DINP)
  • diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)
  • di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)

We are able to provide testing for other phthalates in addition to those listed above. We have also used Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) experiments to determine if phthalates were the reason for product failure.  ESC experiments often use Optical Microscopy (OM) or Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).   

Sample Considerations

The sample size required for the phthalates analysis is in the range of 1 to 5 grams. The GC/MS method has very high sensitivity and the intentional incorporation of phthalates into a product is usually in the 1 to 30 percent range.

Contact us to talk through your specific phthalates analysis and testing needs and associated sample considerations.


We have analyzed phthalate plasticizers, and various other types of plasticizers, for many different types of products.  The following are examples of products on which we have conducted phthalates analysis:

  • PVC Pipe
  • Children’s toys
  • Medical products
  • Vinyl-coated  fabrics
  • Plastic tubing
  • Electrical cables and wires

Related Services

  • Additives Analysis
  • Deformulation & Competitor Product Analysis
  • Failure Analysis
  • Imported Goods Testing
  • Material Certification & Qualification
  • Plasticizer Analysis