How dangerous is That IV PVC Bags
IV bags and tubing don’t seem dangerous, but some health care professionals caution that they may be harmful to certain patients’ health. That’s because many medical devices like IV tubing and bags are made of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, and contain a chemical called DEHP.
DEHP, an agent that softens the rigid PVC plastic, is a potentially toxic chemical, said Stacy Malkan, spokeswoman for Health Care without Harm, an organization promoting environmentally responsible health care.
The American Medical Association decided there should be additional studies on the potential risks of PVC bag devices because many contain a chemical called DEHP. On Dec. Food and Drug Administration to invest more efforts in examining such risks, as well as alternative devices.
DEHP stands for di 2 ethylhexyl phtalate. According to Health Care without Harm, DEHP is the only phtalalate softening additive currently approved to soften PVC medical devices.
But it can be harmful to male infants, according to a study released by the FDA in September. A resolution issued by the AMA House of Delegates stated “some of the documented adverse effects include histological damage to the testes, testicular and epididymal atrophy and agenesis, respiratory distress, pathological changes to lung tissue res michael kors outlet online embling hyaline membrane disease” and several other conditions.
The AMA House of Delegates decided to ask hospitals to phase out PVC products containing DEHP in neonatal intensive care units and purchase alternative products instead.
Health Care without Harm applauded the decision, but also cautions that adults who receive multiple exposures to such products may also be at risk. Background exposure to DEHP happens every day for many people, since it’s contained in common products, such as perfume and nail polish.
“Our concern is thatAll of us are already exposed to it through background exposure in everyday life,” Malkan said. “That piece is not included in their scientific studies.”
Health Care without Harm also cautions that PVC michael kors outlet online bag itself can be potentially harmful. Because it’s made of chlorine, it generates dioxin when it’s incinerated. Some health care facilities still michael kors outlet online burn medical waste, so the dioxin gas is passed into the air, which people then breathe.
“They call it one of the most carcinogenic substances known to man,” Malkan said of dioxin.
A growing number of cost effective alternative products, like non PVC polymer blend bags, are available, according to Health Care without Harm. Baxter International Inc. announced it has made significant progress on a PVC free IV bag on Dec. 14.
However, the development process has not been controversy free, as vinyl industry officials raised questions about the effectiveness and cost differential of vinyl free michael kors outlet online products.
Some products and manufacturers are listed on the Web site for the Sustainable Hospitals Project, which breaks items down into product by category, manufacturer, and hazard to avoid.