widespread is phthalate contamination?
widespread that the chemical signature of phthalates can be found
in most samples being processed by chemical laboratories unless
extraordinary care is taken to exclude them.
fact, some laboratories have taken advantage of this ubiquity,
without knowing it. It turns out that the signature of one set
of phthalates is so ubiquitous, so predictably present in samples
undergoing analysis, that its signature peak is used to calibrate
mass spectrophotometers. It took CDC scientist John Brock's diligent
detective work to discover
the true source of that contamination.