Vinyl manufacturers contest the idea that PVC blood bags are harmful to health

23.07.2012 The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) has issued a statement contesting conclusions by the PVCfreeBloodBag project that PVC blood bags “pose a significant risk to human health.”

The project called last week for blood bags made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that contain diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) to be phased out in favour of safer alternatives after carrying out a life-cycle assessment of their impact (CW 18 July 2012( ).

However, the ECVM said that such conclusions contradicted findings by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on the Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (Scenihr). The committee concluded in 2008 that, while “there is reason for some concern for prematurely born male neonates for which the DEHP exposure may be transiently above the dose inducing reproductive toxicity in animal studies, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that DEHP exposure via medical treatments has harmful effects in humans”.

ECVM said it welcomed the Commission's call for Scenihr "to review and, if appropriate, update the opinion adopted in 2008” in light of the PVCfreeBloodBag study, but insisted that PVC blood bags have been "instrumental in delivering high standards of safety and quality healthcare to patients" for more than half a century.