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Phthalate esters are widely used as plasticizer. They can migrate from plastic materials to the environment. Exposure to some of these compounds may increase the risk of getting cancer. Phthalate esters: dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) were extracted simultaneously using a solid-phase extraction and compared with liquid-liquid extraction and analyzed by a gas chromatograph. The optimum condition method was successfully applied to the analysis of phthalate esters contamination in bottled drinking water samples. The concentration of DMP, DEP and DBP in drinking water samples were below allowable levels, while the DEHP concentration in three samples was found to be greater than the regulatory, maximum admissible concentration.
Key words: Phthalate esters, drinking water, sample extraction, gas chromatography.