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Understanding PVC and DEHP Risks


By choosing PVC- and DEHP-free products, you can help eliminate potential toxins and other safety hazards that could affect your staff, your patients and the environment.


PVC and its toxic breakdown product, DEHP, can be found throughout the hospital when patients are exposed to:

  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Enteral and parenteral feeding bags
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Hemodialysis
  • Infusion administration sets
  • IV and blood bags
  • Peritoneal dialysis bags and tubing

PVC and Sorption

Sorption occurs when medications attach to the sides of an IV bag rather than stay in suspension due to the presence of PVC. The result: the medication is not evenly distributed throughout the IV fluid and can compromise the patient receiving a full or correct dose.

The following drugs adsorb to PVC medical products: 2,3  

  • Aldesleukin
  • Calcitriol
  • Carmustine
  • Chlordiazepoxide HCl
  • Diazepam
  • Insulin
  • Isosorbide Dinitrate
  • Lorazepam
  • Miconazole
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Sufentanil Citrate
  • Thiopental Sodium
  • Urokinase
  • Warfarin Sodium

Leaching and Toxic Effects

Leaching further compounds the effects of PVC products. Leaching is the release of DEHP from PVC containers into the IV bag medication. DEHP has been shown to produce a wide range of toxic effects, particularly in male neonates where the infant’s reproductive system can be compromised. In fact, the California EPA has identified DEHP as a reproductive toxin.

Products that exacerbate leaching:   

  • Chlordiazepoxide HCl
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dosetaxel
  • Etoposide
  • Lipid Emulsions
  • Paclitaxel1
  • Teniposide

Patient Safety

PVC-free, DEHP-free products help protect susceptible populations: critically ill male neonates, pregnant and lactating women, pediatric patients, adolescent boys, and chemotherapy patients. Animal toxicity studies indicate that PVC and DEHP target the testes, liver and kidneys.

PVC and the Environment

The incineration of PVC products produces toxic HCl and contributes to acid rain. The benefits of PVC-free, DEHP-free products: 

  • Fewer emissions - 30 times less toxic than PVC when incinerated
  • B. Braun EXCEL® IV containers weigh 28%- 48% less than comparable PVC containers (both with overwrap). This reduced waste saves 30% annually in landfill and disposal costs materials.  

Raise the awareness of your colleagues to these hazards and contact B. Braun about our complete line of PVC-free, DEHP-free environmental infusion therapy products   —  the broadest portfolio in the industry.  




1 Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Oncology Division. Taxol (Paclitaxel) Injection Administration, Equipment, 11/99 Equipment
2 Chemical and Physical Compatibility of Selected Drugs in EXCEL® Container System
3 Glass and Accumed™ IV Delivery Systems Drug Additive and Chemical Physical Compatibility Guide