A new study lends credence to the claim that humans respond differently than rodents to chemicals used in manufacturing vinyl medical devices, according to a chemical industry trade group.
The study supports the idea that ``humans need not be concerned about the effects of high doses of [di (2-ethylhexyl phthalate] seen in rodents,'' said Marian Stanley, manager of the Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Va.
Some studies with rodents have found that high doses of DEHP damages their testes, but the relevance of that to humans has been debated. DEHP is used heavily in vinyl manufacturing and can leak out of soft PVC devices.
The new industry study, supported in part by the phthalates panel, found that marmosets, a type of small monkey, were not damaged by high levels of DEHP.
The panel issued a news release Jan. 30, and will present the results at a Society of Toxicology meeting next month.
``Although more work needs to be done, available research shows that rodents are uniquely susceptible to DEHP, as opposed to other animals,'' Stanley said.
An environmental health group, however, said the studies can't be interpreted until they are peer-reviewed and published. Washington-based Health Care Without Harm said that the Food and Drug Administration said humans may be more sensitive than marmosets.
HCWH also said that Swedish government investigators found that marmosets are less closely related to humans than other monkeys, and those investigators concluded there is no evidence to support that rodent results are not relevant to people.