Phthalates (thah-lates) are chemicals that are used to make plastics, cosmetics, and paints. They are found in many things around people’s homes. Recently scientists were surprised to learn they are also found in wild bottlenose dolphins. From 2016 to 2017, researchers collected urine samples from 17 dolphins found in Sarasota Bay along Florida’s west coast. When the researchers studied the samples, they found phthalates in 12 of the dolphins. Phthalates have been linked to certain types of cancer and other health problems in humans and rats. Are the dolphins in danger? How are they coming in contact with the phthalates? How are the chemicals getting into the dolphins’ bodies? These are some of the questions scientists are asking now.