When PVC is made, vinyl chloride—a known human carcinogen— is released, so any move to reduce the use of PVC plastic decreases our exposure to these toxic pollutants linked to cancer. DEHP is one of a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates that have complex effects on several hormonal systems. DEHP has been shown in lab studies to increase breast cancer cell proliferation and to interfere with breast cancer treatment.
A Washington Post story notes that this switchover affects nearly 100 tons of medical equipment — 4.9 million IV tubing sets and 9.2 million solution bags — each year. Great, right? But it gets better: the change is also expected to save Kaiser almost $5 million a year.
Way to go, Kaiser, for showing that you can do the right thing to reduce toxic exposures and even save money along the way.