By Nick Gilbert
The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM) has contested allegations about the potential risk to human health posed by PVC blood bags.
The PVCfreeBloodBag project had recently carried out a life-cycle assessment (LCA) on PVC blood bags. It concluded that PVC blood bags should be phased out and PVC-free alternatives must be used.
Back in 2008, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on the Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) had found that there was no conclusive scientific proof that DEHP exposure through medical treatments has detrimental effects in humans. ECVM states that the SCENIHR findings and the LCA’s conclusions are contradictory.
ECVM commissioned a critical review which was performed by Professor Adisa Azapagic from Manchester University, an LCA expert. The review questioned the study methodology and conclusions of the PVCfreeBloodBag LCA. Certain methods used lacked scientific validity and the recognised ISO standards of LCA had not been followed consistently.
Professor Azapagic found that the assumptions were based on incomplete or old data and were inconsistent, biased, unclear and misleading. The LCA seemed to be motivated to rule against PVC blood bags.
ECVM stated that PVC blood bags have been in use for more than 50 years and PVC is the only type of plastic that can be used for these types of medical devices. PVC blood bags enable quality healthcare for patients.