Coalition calls for labeling of vinyl chemical that can impair fertility

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 20, 2007

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A handful of medical societies, including the American Medical Association, signed on to a letter last month calling for the Food and Drug Administration to require the labeling of medical devices that contain di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, DEHP.

Concern about this chemical, which has been shown in animal studies to impair the development of the male reproductive system, has been building over the past several years. In 2002, the FDA issued guidance on this subject saying that devices that do not contain this plasticizer should be substituted when available for certain procedures that present a high risk from exposure, such as total parenteral nutrition in neonates and hemodialysis in boys near puberty. The AMA also adopted policy last year calling for the phase-out of these products where possible.

The call for labeling comes because the lack of indication of this chemical's presence has been interfering with efforts to reduce it in the health care setting.

"Labeling of products containing DEHP is crucial to enable health care facilities to heed safety directives," said Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, science director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, a consortium of North American environmental organizations.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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