Evidence is accumulating that the increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes and obesity is correlated with exposure to certain phthalates, which brings growing concern to the public health of China. However, the extent to which phthalate restrictions will alleviate these health concerns remains unclear. Here, we employed a sequential modeling approach to evaluate the impact that a series of restrictions would have on the mass of phthalates in the use phase, indoor concentrations, exposure, and the attributable disease burden of type 2 diabetes and obesity in adults. We show that, compared with the business-as-usual scenario, the implementation of the strongest restriction on the concerned phthalates in 2016 can decrease the use of phthalates by up to 91.2%, indoor airborne phthalate concentrations by 93.8%, and indoor dust-phase phthalate concentrations by 90.2% by 2031. Correspondingly, the decrease in phthalate exposure would result in a health benefit of 134.6 billion CNY. These findings call for the urgent need to restrict the use of certain phthalates to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes and obesity in China.
One Earth, Volume 5, 15 April 2022,