Medical Musings: It's gut-check time for the PVC industry


A group called the PVCMed Alliance is being formed in Europe to defend use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in healthcare applications. It includes PVC resin and plasticizer producers as well as PVC converters such as Renolit and Tarkett.

One of the group's goals is to promote environmentally friendly practices in healthcare applications. If that's truly the goal, it's a welcome development. In one example, Ole Grøndahl Hansen, project manager, told PlasticsToday that the PVCMed Alliance will seek partnerships for PVC medical waste recycling.

The real issue is not PVC recycling, however. It's the use of DEHP (di-2-ethyl hexyl phthalate) plasticizers, which are under attack globally by healthcare institutions because of concerns of chemical leaching that could particularly impact infants. Kaiser Permanente announced earlier this year that it will no longer buy intravenous (IV) medical equipment made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and DEHP-type plasticizers. Dignity Health also no longer uses DEHP-based PVC. Partners Healthcare in Boston expects to make the same move....
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