The determination of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate migration was achieved in artificial sweat using gas chromatography mass spectrometry following activated carbon enrichment of samples. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimise the conditions for maximum recovery and to understand the significance and interaction of the factors affecting the recovery of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. The best compromise of analytical conditions for the simultaneous determination of analyte from spiked artificial sweat was found to be: pH (3.1), activated carbon amount (1.4 g L-1), adsorption time (55 min) and elution solvent (chloroform). These conditions were applied to study the migration of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate from different children's toys into artificial sweat. The detection limit of the method was 13.8 mu g L-1, while the relative standard deviation (%) value for the analysis of 100 mu g L-1 of the analyte was below 3.7% (n = 5). (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.