Regarding your Sept. 24 editorial “Sound science blind to opposing views,” First let me say that I have been directly involved with the issue of PVC use in medical devices for almost 30 years. In fact, I have worked on PVC replacement materials for much of that time. I am aware of the testing done on current materials and replacement materials, and the studies that show safety and those that raise concerns. Your column gives credence to those that twist the truth to their own ends, and further you imply that the medical device community is not willing to listen to valid opposing information.
The claim that the medical device community in not willing to listen is absolutely not true! I have been involved with the technical paper review committee for conferences, both Society of Plastics Engineers and Medical Device Manufacturers, for many years. I get a chance to see how real scientists, striving to get real answers, pursue their goal. There are procedures that are followed, and, when the studies are done, certain claims can and are made. When scientists claim that certain levels are safe, they do so after exhaustive testing can bear out these claims. But just because some exposures are higher than the established levels of safety, it is not a valid jump in reasoning to say that those higher levels are not safe.
Those with “opposing views” that you seem to be supporting gravitate to the extremes of reasoning and use jumps in logic to draw unsubstantiated conclusions. The scientists that I choose to believe are those that are held to a rigid standard as to what can and cannot legitimately be claimed. I do not feel the same toward those that you seem to be supporting in your editorial.
When these folks are asked to produce data, and I have asked, they resort to allegations about what this report implies or that study finds. They craft their propaganda to read in a way that those without a familiarity of the subject will be convinced of their message. And that message is one of apparent anger toward the plastics industry and more specifically in this case the medical device community that relies on what we can show is a proven safe material, PVC. I am not sure of the agenda of these activists; however, judging by the actions of any of a number of these worldwide groups (Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, etc.), it seems they have an agenda that is to eliminate the use of plastics. They use any means to achieve their end, and, in the case of medical plastics, they focus on DEHP. I am sorry to say that you are playing into their hands by giving their arguments a platform.
I feel that I have a right to judge whether or not someone has done their homework and has a valid point to present. My claim of not hearing a valid counterpoint stands, yet I continue to keep my ears open for information that may prove otherwise. Why do we, the PVC supporters, receive such treatment when it is the activists that should be asked by you and others in the media for substantiation of the evidence, not just the allegations.
I am willing to discuss this subject in more detail if you wish to pursue it further. But in my opinion you did not present a fair, balanced review of the subject.
Czuba Enterprises Inc.