Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP)

Chemical name: Di-n-butyl phthalate

CAS No. 84-74-2

EINECS No. 201-557-4

Molecular formula: C16H22O4

Molecular weight: 278.34

Synonyms: Di-n-butyl phthalate; 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid; Dibutyl ester (9CI); Phthalic acid; dibutyl ester (6CI, 8CI); Bis-n-butyl phthalate; Butyl phthalate; DBP, DBP (ester); Di(n-butyl) 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate; Dibutyl o-phthalate; n-Butyl phthalate; Phthalic acid di-n-butyl ester. More

Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), also known as dibutyl phthalate, is a specialist low molecular weight phthalate plasticiser often used in combination with other high molecular weight phthalates. It is produced through the reaction of phthalic anhydride with n-butanol in the presence of the catalyst concentrated sulphuric acid. Excess alcohol is recovered and recycled and the di-n-butyl phthalate is purified by vacuum distillation and/or activated charcoal.

DBP is used extensively in the adhesives industry to plasticise polyvinyl acetate (PVA) emulsions. The low viscosity and compatibility of DBP make it ideally suited for PVA-based adhesives when bonding cellulosic materials. Depending on the amount of plasticiser used, the handling and application properties of PVA adhesive can vary greatly.

DBP is an excellent solvent for many oil-soluble dyes, insecticides, peroxides and other organic compounds, It is used as an antifoam agent and as a fibre lubricant in textile manufacturing. DBP is also used in the coatings industry as a primary plasticiser-solvent for nitrocellulose lacquers. It provides flexibility at low temperatures and is especially desirable thanks to its broad compatibility with modifying resins.

DBP use in cosmetics

In Europe, the use of DBP in cosmetics is forbidden. Based on the changes of the EU Cosmetics Directive agreed in 2004, cosmetics containing DBP, including nail polish, cannot be sold to the general public. European law prevents any substance classified as being a potentially carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxicant (CMR) from being used in cosmetic applications.

EU Risk Assessments

An EU Risk Assessment has been conducted on DBP and the final outcome has now been published in the EU Official Journal. To eliminate a potential risk to plants in the vicinity of processing sites and workers through inhalation, measures are to be taken within the framework of the IPPC Directive (96/61/EC) and the Occupational Exposure Directive (98/24/EC).

The full technical reports are listed below:

Synonyms: Di-n-butyl phthalate; 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid; Dibutyl ester (9CI); Phthalic acid; dibutyl ester (6CI, 8CI); Bis-n-butyl phthalate; Butyl phthalate; DBP, DBP (ester); Di(n-butyl) 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate; Dibutyl o-phthalate; n-Butyl phthalate; Phthalic acid di-n-butyl ester. More