Skip to main content

Is DEHP in Catheters Harmful?

is dehp in catheters harmful

Have you ever seen a label on the packaging of your catheters that warns about DEHP? It’s natural to feel some concern or confusion about this warning.

Since one of 180 Medical’s values is education, we want to let you know more about DEHP and your catheter options.

What is DEHP?

DEHP, which is an abbreviation of di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, is a manufactured chemical plasticizer that is often a component in vinyl or plastic products. DEHP is colorless and has almost no scent. Its purpose is to help soften plastics and make them more flexible.

For example, DEHP and other phthalates are in products like:

  • Shower curtains
  • Flooring
  • Upholstery
  • Swimming pool liners
  • Plastic toys
  • Automobile interiors
  • Wire coverings
  • Plastic food containers
  • Cosmetics, deodorants, lotions, and fragrances
  • Some types of medical supplies like tubing and storage bags

dehp phthalates in personal care products and medical supplies

Is DEHP Harmful?

According to the Proposition 65 Warnings website, research has determined that DEHP exposure may be related to the development of cancer, the reduction of testosterone and sperm count, respiratory problems, and other issues such as birth defects.

Due to the wide use of phthalates in everyday products, exposure can happen through skin contact, breathing, or ingestion (drinking or eating it).

In conclusion, the full effects of phthalates on health are not completely known. However, researchers continue to examine DEHP and other phthalates to come to a more definitive answer.

Why is There a Warning Label on My Catheters?

dehp warning label on catheter packaging

Proposition 65, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is a law that requires California to publish listings of chemicals that may possibly cause harm to health.

Thanks to this law, you have an opportunity to understand what is in some of the products you use. This is why catheter manufacturers must display warning labels on their vinyl catheter products if they include DEHP.

You may be able to reduce your risk of adverse effects by minimizing your exposure to DEHP. For instance, you could choose to use glass food containers instead of plastic.

Ultimately, you get to make the decision on whether or not to use intermittent catheters that contain DEHP.

Does 180 Medical Carry Catheters Without DEHP?

Yes, 180 Medical is committed to carrying a wide variety of high-quality catheter products, including DEHP-free catheters. Because we want our customers to have a catheter that fits their individual needs and preferences, we make it a point to offer plenty of options from all the top brands on the market.

catheter brands at 180 medical

If you’re concerned about the presence of DEHP in your current catheter, 180 Medical can help you find a DEHP-free catheter option.

Are GentleCath Catheters DEHP-Free?

Yes! Given the potential risks of phthalates like DEHP, Convatec has decided to begin replacing DEHP with non-toxic plasticizers in their GentleCath catheters.

Whether you need pediatric catheters for kids, closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters, or straight catheters, GentleCath can be trusted as a comfortable and efficient DEHP-free brand.

What are some other DEHP-free catheter options?

Cure™ also manufactures its catheters without the use of DEHP. 180 Medical proudly carries the entire line of Cure™ catheters, including the Cure Twist™ (a popular travel catheter for women) and Cure Pocket™ Catheters for men.

Additionally, In 2013, LoFric changed their hydrophilic catheters from PVC vinyl POBE (polyolefin-based elastomer). All LoFric catheters are now free of DEHP.

These are just a few examples of the many brands and types of catheters available to you when you choose 180 Medical. Contact our Catheter Product Specialists today. We’ll help you find a DEHP-free catheter that’s just right for you!

catheter brands at 180 medical

Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. For further questions regarding DEHP and its effects on your individual health, please see your prescribing healthcare professional. 

For full information regarding DEHP, see the Toxicological Profile for DEHP, published by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

Join the 180 Community

About the Author
Is DEHP in Catheters Harmful?
Jessica is the Sr. Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical, and she has been with the company for over 14 years now. She loves getting to be creative in her role and hearing from customers about the positive impact we've made on their lives.

Outside of work, you can find her hanging out with her husband and their dogs or browsing garden centers (where she will almost certainly buy another houseplant she doesn't really need).