Many of the environmental, occupational and industrial chemicals are able to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cause oxidative stress. ROS may lead to genotoxicity, which is suggested to contribute to the pathophysiology of many human diseases, including inflammatory diseases and cancer. Phthalates are ubiquitous environmental chemicals and are well-known peroxisome proliferators (PPs) and endocrine disruptors. Several in vivo and in vitro studies have been conducted concerning the carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of phthalates. Di(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP) and several other phthalates are shown to be hepatocarcinogenic in rodents. The underlying factor in the hepatocarcinogenesis is suggested to be their ability to generate ROS and cause genotoxicity. Several methods, including chromosomal aberration test, Ames test, micronucleus assay and hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) mutation test and Comet assay, have been used to determine genotoxic properties of phthalates. Comet assay has been an important tool in the measurement of the genotoxic potential of many chemicals, including phthalates. In this review, we will mainly focus on the studies, which were conducted on the DNA damage caused by different phthalate esters and protection studies against the genotoxicity of these chemicals.