Phthalates are endocrine ( your thyroid, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pineal body, reproductive glands and pancreas) disrupting chemicals used to make PVC or vinyl flexible, plastic #3 if you are looking at recycle numbers.
They are most toxic when the plastic is heated or worn out with time.
Looking around your home for phthalates you are most likely to find them in products labeled "fragrance", PVC water piping, plastic microwave containers, vinyl flooring, shower curtains, personal care products(shampoo, soap), toys, lubricants, nail polish, hoses, raincoats and detergents.
What does a disrupted endocrine system look like? Lowered sperm counts in males, early puberty in girls, hypo and hyperthyroidism, immune system increased sensitivity, decreased fertility, testicular atrophy, structural anomalies in male anatomy, and so much more! But isn't that enough!
We are doing everything we can in our own home to avoid phthalates, here is a simple list: I only store food in glass or metal containers, I have a fabric shower curtain, no vinyl flooring, make my own personal care products (see link here for making your own lotion), I never microwave in plastic, and we don't drink out of our hoses. If you are in the marked for a new home please check into what the water piping is made of. Most new homes have the flexible PVC water piping which leaches Phthlates when heated and worn down with time.
Resources: (Don't take it from me, check it out for yourself!)