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{Past Event} - Greening Operations Series: Healthy Environments: Eliminating DEHP and PVC from the NICU

September 18, 2009 - 2:00 pm - September 18, 2009 - 2:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


PVC, or vinyl, plastic are the most widely used plastic in medical devices and can be harmful to patients, the environment and public health. There are two key problems associated with PVC and they are Dioxin, a known human carcinogen that can be formed during the manufacture of PVC, and during the incineration or burning of PVC products. DEHP, a phthalate used to soften PVC plastic that can leach from PVC medical devices, is linked to reproductive birth defects and other illnesses, according to animal studies. Learn the steps to go back to your facility and develop an action plan for dehp elimination for your NICU and other areas. Here practical tips from a facility that has already accomplished dehp elimination in their NICU.

Points To Include

  • What is DEHP and why is it a problem in medical devices?
  • How can hospitals learn more about the hazards of DEHP and take a precautionary approach through elimination of DEHP-containing medical devices?
  • What resources are available to learn more about DEHP, chlorinated plastics and alternatives?
  • Where would these activities fit within the structure of the Green Guide for Health Care?


  • Understand how infants can be exposed to DEHP while receiving medical care
  • Understand the health effects that may result from DEHP exposures
  • Understand what the National Toxicology Program and the FDA say about risks associated with DEHP exposure in the hospital setting


Ted Schettler MD, MPH, Science and Environmental Health Network
Ted Schettler MD, MPH is Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network.( He has a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and a masters in public health from Harvard University. Dr. Schettler is co-author of “Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment”; “In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development”; and “Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging”. He has published a number of articles on related topics in peer-reviewed journals and has served on advisory committees of the US EPA and National Academy of Sciences. He practiced medicine primarily in New England for many years.

Sue Heffernan, RN-BC, MN CNS, Seattle Children’s Hospital
Sue has been involved in pediatric nursing care and clinical practice since 1979. She consults or assists with the coordination and implementation of new equipment, products, practice changes and policies/procedures across departments within Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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