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The chemicals company worked closely with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin to evaluate use of the material for blood bags, ‘one of the most challenging applications in the plastics market.’

Norbert Sparrow

November 15, 2016

2 Min Read
Eastman’s non-phthalate plasticizer is viable alternative to DEHP for blood bags, study shows

Although the science supporting the health hazards of DEHP plasticizers is sketchy, to say the least, the material is tainted in the public view as a result of campaigns led by activist organizations, and chemicals companies have been working on developing alternative materials. “While di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) has provided the medical industry with a stable ortho-phthalate plasticizer for many years, regulatory trends and consumer demands will inevitably drive the industry to non-phthalate alternatives,” notes Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN). It has announced the results of a recent clinical trial conducted by the BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW; Milwaukee), which evaluated a new plasticizer for blood bags.

“Blood bags are one of the most challenging applications in the plastics market,” said Eastman Market Development Manager Mark Brucks in a prepared statement. “BCW’s research is important because it demonstrates a viable alternative for those who have concerns around using DEHP in sensitive applications like blood bags, and it’s also a testament to the importance of material suppliers and institutions working together to find safer solutions.” 

The clinical trial findings were presented at the 2016 AABB Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, on Oct. 24 by Sharon Graminske, Manager of Applied Research Laboratory at BCW. Graminske highlighted the trend driving the need for DEHP alternatives as well as the preliminary results supporting DEHP replacement with DEHT, a non-phthalate general-purpose plasticizer.

“Our work with Eastman has provided valuable results that will benefit the blood banking industry,” said Kathleen Puca, MD, the BloodCenter’s Medical Director and principal investigator who oversaw the findings reported by Graminske. “The DEHT trial results offer new insight about a well-established plasticizer that has now been proven to have an even broader application within healthcare—providing safer blood products.”

Further work is being completed on plasma to validate performance. “Eastman 168 SG is a proven, tested, and toxicologically clean solution for the medical market,” says Brucks. “By working closely with BCW, we are able to extend the utility of Eastman 168 SG into this application, offering customers a cost-effective alternative that performs to standard so that they can confidently make the switch from DEHP when they are ready.”

BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in blood services; diagnostic testing; organ, tissue and marrow donation; medical services and leading-edge research.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


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