Triphenyl phosphate (TPP)

Chemical structure for triphenyl phosphate
Triphenyl phosphate
CAS Number: 115-86-6

Triphenyl phosphate is an organophosphate flame retardant.  It has been added as a flame retardant to a variety of products, such as foam used in upholstered furniture, children’s products, and electronic equipment.  Triphenyl phosphate is also used in some nail polish and as an additive to increase the durability and flexibility of some plastics.

Fact Sheet

Triphenyl phosphate is found in:

  • Polyurethane foam in a variety of products, including:
    • Upholstered furniture.
    • Motor vehicle seats.
    • Carpet padding.
    • Some car seats for infants and children.
  • Plastic parts of electronic equipment, like computers, TVs, DVD players, and paper shredders.
  • Lacquers, varnishes, and nail polish.
  • Tents for camping.
  • Dust in homes, offices, and cars that contain products with triphenyl phosphate.

Possible health concerns of triphenyl phosphate:

  • Might interfere with the body’s natural hormones.
  • Might contribute to the development of obesity.
  • Might affect the developing fetus.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to triphenyl phosphate:

  • Because this flame retardant can come out of products and collect in dust:
    • Wash your and your child’s hands often, especially before preparing or eating food.
    • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop or HEPA vacuum cleaner if possible, and use a damp cloth to dust.
  • Look for furniture that has “TB117-2013” labels, the new California flammability standard that can be met without using chemical flame retardants.  The label should indicate if the furniture contains flame retardants or not.
  • Avoid new and used furniture with “TB-117” labels, which is more likely to contain chemical flame retardants. 
  • Ask for children’s products that do not contain flame retardants. Contact the manufacturer if the seller is unsure whether a product contains flame retardants.
  • Replace upholstered furniture that is torn or has crumbling foam.
  • If you install new carpet, avoid using padding made from recycled or scrap polyurethane foam.

Biomonitoring California Information

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

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