All polymers, including PVC, require the use of additives. For rigid PVC formulations these are stabilisers, modifiers and lubricants. For bendable PVC, plasticisers are also used to achieve flexibility.
Other additives may include processing aids and pigments. These are selected from food contact approval lists - such as those regulated at national level within Europe or US Food and Drug Administration regulations - and/or in the European Pharmacopoeia Monographs.
In recent years industry and authorities have made great efforts to assess the environmental and health effects of the use of PVC in medical applications and these are now very well understood. Such potential effects can be associated with certain phthalates used as plasticisers and the incineration of hospital waste.