Dibutyl Phthalate an Emerging Contaminant in Water-Based Paints

Emerging Contaminant of Water Based Paints

  • Ajoke Fehintola Idayat Apanpa-Qasim Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan, Ibadan-Nigeria
Keywords: emerging contaminant, dibutyl phthalate, environmental toxicology, gas chromatography- mass spectrometry, multivariate statistical analysis


Seven different manufacturers of paints were purchased from two major cities in southwest Nigeria. At least one sample from the same manufacturer and colour, was identified and analyzed for dibutyl phthalate (DBP). GC/MS method was developed for the identification and quantification of dibutyl phthalate in water-based paints after solvent extraction. The highest level of DBP found was 47,100 ppb (unregistered manufacturer), followed by 45,100 and 19,400 in a white, pink and cream coloured paint, respectively, while the lowest concentration was 721 ppb in a cream coloured paints, unregistered manufacturer. The PCA results were in good accordance with the findings of the correlation coefficient. DBP is used by all manufacturers for flexibility and better spreadability. It is a cheap alternative and readily available. It's an emerging contaminant newly reported in paints and its toxicological effects should not be underestimated, since there is no regulation in place.