Kaiser Permanente | DEHP and PVC Elimination
Kaiser Permanente protects the health of its members and communities through mechanisms, including demonstrating a preference for products that do not contain harmful substances. . KP has partnered with its suppliers to target two substances in particular: the plasticizer DEHP (di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Traditionally, DEHP has been used to make medical plastics such as PVC IV bags and tubing softer and more pliable, but has been found to leach plastics from the medical equipment into the air or liquids passing through them. . Research has shown that DEHP exposure maycause damage to the reproductive and developmental systems of prepubescent children, including developing fetuses. PVC plastic, when manufactured or incinerated creates dioxin, a known carcinogen.
In 2007, KP's National Product Council and IV Sourcing and Standards Team began transitioning to DEHP-free IV administration sets and working with suppliers to identify viable alternatives. In 2012, the organization committed to purchasing IV solution bags that are 100 percent free of PVC and DEHP, and tubing that is DEHP-free. Given the 4.9 million IV tubing sets and 9.2 million solution bags KP purchases each year, this conversion affects nearly 100 tons of medical products and is expected to save almost $5MM annually.