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In The News Infant Exposure to Controversial Compound Continues in Hospitals
By Steve Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter, June 9, 2005

Despite FDA warnings to hospitals to reduce the use of plastics that contain a compound that might affect male fertility in infants, a new study found high levels of the compound among newborns in neonatal intensive care units.

The compound, known as di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), is a softening agent that makes plastic flexible. Medical devices that may contain DEHP include intravenous bags and tubing, umbilical artery catheters, blood bags and infusion tubing, nutrition feeding bags and nasogastric tubes. The problem is it can leach into solutions that come in contact with the plastic.

"It has been known for some time that DEHP leaches out of some medical devices, causing direct patient exposures," said study author Dr. Ted Schettler, science director at the Science and Environmental Health Network.

Use of Di(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate Containing Medical Products and Urinary Levels of Mono(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Infants
Ronald Green, Russ Hauser, Antonia M. Calafat, Jennifer Weuve, Ted Schettler, Steven Ringer, Kenneth Huttner, and Howard Hu
Environmental Health Perspectives Online, June 8, 2005

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