DEHP: Overview

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:45 by admin
DEHP, also known as di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, is a compound used as a plasticizer (softener) in many products made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, including some medical devices. Among these are:

IV bags and tubing
Dialysis tubing
Blood bags and tubing
Heart bypass machine tubing
Nasogastric feeding tubes
Respiratory tubing

Exposure to DEHP has produced a range of adverse effects in experimental animals, but those of greatest concern involve effects on the development of the testicles and the production of normal sperm in young animals.

It is possible that the effects observed in animal studies could occur in humans. However, there are no human studies to date that show such effects. DEHP-containing devices have been used on newborn babies for many years without apparent ill effects, although studies have not been conducted which would rule out effects on humans.

The FDA believes the greatest concern would be for very young male infants who are critically ill and have prolonged exposure to multiple devices containing DEHP. The National Toxicology Program, a component of the National Institutes of Health, has recently reached a similar conclusion. In contrast, there is little concern for adults receiving intravenous solutions or undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

See a doctor if you or your child have experienced serious health problems because of exposure to DEHP. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.



See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Children's Health Matters: Overview
  3. Male Infertility: Overview
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