"Hazardous chemicals in our blood" is an educational material from The Danish Ecological Council about plasticizers added to medical devices and the effect they have on the body.
The educational material ‘Hazardous chemicals in our blood’ is available both in Danish and English and consists of:
- The documentary ‘Hazardous chemicals in our blood’ See short version (8:12) >>
- An educational booklet
- A teachers guide (only in Danish and only aimed at the Danish educational system)
The material is well suited to teach topics in physiology, biology, chemistry, ethics, social studies and health care in secondary school/preparatory-school/high school/sixth form college. It is also relevant as part of the nursing education program and the medical laboratory technology program (bioanalyst education).
Phthalates can harm the most vulnerable patients
The educational material ’Hazardous chemicals in our blood’ is about the group of chemicals called phthalates. The chemistry and mode of operation of phthalates is explained, as well as how the phthalates are added to PVC and what adverse effects the chemicals have. Phthalates are one of the groups of substances which are endocrine disruptors and can damage fertility, decrease sperm quality, cause behavioral disorders, liver damage, obesity and cancer. Especially vulnerable groups are pregnant women, newborn babies, children and chronically ill patients, and unfortunately these groups often come into contact with medical devices containing phthalates, such as blood bags, tubing and catheters.
"Hazardous chemicals in our blood " also gives a brief introduction to EU chemicals legislation REACH and the EU legislation regulating phthalates in medical devices. Finally the educational material encourages a discussion of substituting these substances with safer alternatives.