PVC and DEHP-containing products? Anyone know anything about this?

Specialties NICU


Hi! I just got an email from my neonatal chat list, and someone was asking about products used in the NICU that contain PVC or DEHP. I'd never really heard much about this, and thought some of you might know more. Here are some links I found to read a little more about it:






and this interesting article from the Perinatal.org newsletter:


So, what do you think about this? I admit, I'm surprised at what I've read!


150 Posts

I remember hearing about this a while back. I think some of the concern is in the IV tubing and IV bags.

I heard a while back that PVC tubing may adversly affect male neonates. I wish I knew where that article was!


272 Posts

We do not use IV bags or Lipid tubing that contain DEHP as it is more readily leached out of the tubing by fats. We use DEHP-containing tubing for regular IVF though...

We hang a whole bottle of Lipids with burette chamber and non-DEHP tubing to run lipids instead of running it on a syringe pump because of this. We're working on getting non-DEHP microbore tubing so we can run Lipids on a syringe pump.

Funny thing (well, not really...) I checked all of out tubing stuff after reading this post, and our Burettes have DEHP.....


208 Posts

One of the listservs I subscribe to included the following post from M.B. Kober, RN, MSN from Michigan:

"DEHP is di-(2ethylhexl) phthalate and is an additive to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing to make the plastic flexible, strong and moldable. Unfortunately DEHP adversely affects reproduction and development. The FDA released a Safety Assessment in July of 2002 that states that DEHP at levels found in IV tubing may indeed be potent enough to harm sexual development in male infants. The agency concluded that there is little risk to adults receiving intravenous solutions or undergoing dialysis. You may read the public health notification at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/dehp.html . In light of this information, why would any NICU adopt the use of DEHP tubing?"


1 Post

I agree , is very upsetting that hospitals are still using products that may harm babies. We should all look at the products our hospitals use and make sure they are DEHP free. http://www.sustainablehospitals.org is an excellent site that has the safe alternatives availiable. The American Academy of Pediatrics is also looking into this important issue.

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