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Medical News and Perspectives
September 19, 2007

Groups Urge Warning Label for Medical Devices Containing Toxic Chemical

JAMA. 2007;298(11):1267. doi:10.1001/jama.298.11.1267

Numerous health care groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, are urging the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act on a 2002 warning about the widespread presence of a toxic chemical in medical devices made of polyvinyl chloride. The groups are calling for mandatory labeling of such products.

The chemical, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), is used as a plasticizer of polyvinyl chloride in the manufacture of a wide variety of consumer goods. Experts caution that DEHP can leach from vinyl plastic medical devices and into patients, posing health risks to vulnerable populations, especially male infants.

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