PVC – a safe and increasingly sustainable material for healthcare
For over 70 years, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) medical devices have allowed patients and healthcare professionals to access an ever-widening range of safe medical applications for screening, diagnosis, treatment and care. Vinyl (another word for PVC) offers excellent durability, chemical resistance, low maintenance costs and affordability, which have made the plastic material a top choice when it comes to flooring, wall covering and other key elements of hygienic healthcare facilities.
Why PVC should remain the preferred material in healthcare
In response to the latest papers and critiques from NGOs on PVC, the PVCMed Alliance has proactively undertaken the task of providing an updated perspective on PVC, grounded in the most recent and relevant evidence. This critical review of the NGOs' approach to PVC aims to offer a balanced and fact-based view of PVC's role and impact, especially in the context of its use in healthcare and other critical applications.
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Where is PVC used in healthcare?
PVCMed Alliance is The European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers' value chain platform to raise awareness and promote informed decisions about the use of PVC in healthcare. The Alliance was established in 2012.
The vision that informs the PVCMed Alliance’s work is of a healthcare environment that best benefits patients and healthcare professionals. Such an environment offers the finest PVC-based products and applications with the required properties and excellence needed to provide top quality health care while being environmentally sustainable.
PVC to remain the most used plastic for medical devices
Almost 30% of the plastics-based medical devices are manufactured in PVC, which makes the material the most used polymer for bags, tubing, masks and other disposable medical devices. Due to the material's unique properties, this share is expected to remain the same until at least 2027.
PVC recycling in hospitals
Hospitals use a lot of single-use PVC-based medical devices every day. Besides being safe and affordable, PVC is easily recyclable and keeps its technical properties through numerous recycling cycles. Also, many of the devices are used on non-infectious patients. These advantages have led to the set-up of medical devices recycling systems, such as VinylPlus® Med in Belgium.
When plastics revolutionised healthcare
Did you know PVC-based medical devices have been used safely for over 70 years?
Today, plastics is the primary choice for disposable medical devices, allowing patients and healthcare professionals to benefit from the material’s excellent technical properties on a daily basis. But in fact, it is only quite recently that plastics have replaced medical devices made of metal, glass and ceramics.