The role of epidemiology in risk assessment: A case study of five ortho-phthalates

January 25, 2022
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources


Maricel Maffini: The role of epidemiology in risk assessment: A case study of five ortho-phthalates


Maffini, M.V., Geueke, B., Groh, K. et al. Role of epidemiology in risk assessment: a case study of five ortho-phthalates. Environ Health 20, 114 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-021-00799-8.

Tom Neltner. How and when will FDA rule on ortho-phthalates in food? It’s anyone’s guess. Environmental Defense Fund. January 29, 2019.

Environmental Defense Fund. FDA agrees to reconsider safety of ortho-phthalates. April 13, 2016.

European Food Safety Authority. Phthalates: draft opinion and exposure protocol open for public consultation. November 5, 2021.

Phthalates are endocrine disrupting chemicals best known for their uses in soft plastic manufacturing and their effects on male reproductive toxicity. The authors investigated whether regulatory safe levels (RfD) of five phthalates are protective of the public of other relevant health outcomes in addition to male reproductive development. During this webinar Dr. Maricel V. Maffini presented the data recently published in the journal Environmental Health and what is needed to make substantial changes to risk assessment and risk management of chemicals.

This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal HEEDS, Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies), Genon Jensen (HEAL), Sarah Howard (DiabetesandEnvironment.org), and Hannah Donart (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page. 

This webinar was moderated by Jerry Heindel, PhD, founder and director of Commonweal's Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies (HEEDS). It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.

Featured Speaker

Dr. Maricel V. Maffini is an Independent Consultant based in Maryland, US. She has more than 25 years of research experience in the fields of carcinogenesis, reproductive biology, and endocrine disruption. For the past eleven years, her work has focused on the safety of chemicals in food and food packaging, its regulation, and the market’s influence. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, blogs and book chapters. She co-authored a petition requesting the US Food and Drug Administration to revoke the use of phthalates in contact with food.

Before becoming a consultant, she was a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council; a senior science officer at The Pew Charitable Trust, and a Research Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. She consults with public interest organizations and private businesses.
She is a member of the Food Packaging Forum science advisory board, a science advisor to the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and a Fellow of Collegium Ramazzini.