PolyOne Corp. is finding opportunities for its Geon HC rigid PVC compounds as a result of the startling trend of hospital-acquired infections, according PolyOne's Joe Kutka. Kutka, global business development manager for PolyOne's Geon line, spoke during the Plastics in Medical Devices 2012 conference in Westlake. As a result of higher hospital-acquired infections, or HAIs, hospitals are using stronger disinfectants and using disinfectants more frequently in general, Kutka said. This can have an adverse impact on plastic materials used in medical devices. "Disinfectants can cause polymer cracking and crazing in device housings," he said. "This can lead to fires, burns and equipment failure. [Disinfectants] can corrode electrical circuitry. All of these things can lead to more service calls, warranty claims and product returns." Steps are being taken to handle HAIs, and that’s having a big impact on material selection, he said. "So when you’re making a medical device and you’re looking at a medical device that has a five-to-10-year lifespan, it’s really critically important that you’re using the right types of materials that can provide the durability, the chemical resistance and aesthetic that the medical device is going to require for the next five to 10 years." PolyOne is based in Avon Lake, Ohio. The conference, hosted by Plastics News, was held June 12-13.