December 12, 2012
Increases in negative perceptions, studies, and regulatory actions against PVC has compounded regulatory headaches faced by medical-device designers, according to Elliott Pritikin of Teknor Apex Co., who spoke during the Plastics in Medical Devices 2012 conference in Westlake. Elliott, senior medical market manager for Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor, said "thereís been negative momentum for some traditional materials, and thatís put undue pressure on the medical-device industry." Pritikin said Teknor has been positioning its Medalist compounds made from thermoplastic vulcanizates and other types of thermoplastic elastomers as alternatives to PVC in some medical applications. Concerns about health risks alleged for PVC and its plasticizers have led to bans from medical firms such as Kaiser Permanente and commercial giants like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Apple Inc. In comparison testing, Pritikin said Medalist TPEs which contain no phthalates, as some types of PVC do have shown similar clarity and kink resistance to PVC in tubing products, while offering better elongation and 30-35 percent weight savings. The conference, hosted by Plastics News, was held June 12-13.