Guides & Tips
Choosing the right plastic
PVC plastic (also known as Vinyl) is the most commonly used plastic in medical devices and pharmacy products. Unfortunately this type of plastic generates a number of environmental hazards and human health risks. The tow most common risks are:
- Dioxin: A known human carcinogen. Bi-product of the manufacturing process and released during the incineration or burning of PVC products.
- DEHP: A phthalate used to soften PVC plastic and render it more malleable. Phthalates can leach from medical devices and risk exposure to packaged medication. There is confirmed data linking PVC to reproductive birth defects and other illnesses.
Several government agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration, the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate and a Health Canada panel of experts have warned that certain patients, particularly sick infants, may be at harmful risk from phthalates leaching out of PVC medical devices. Fortunately, many health care facilities and pharmacies are shifting to safer alternatives such as products made of polypropylene.