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Phthalates, Plasticizer, Neonates, Alternative medical devices



  1. Pak, Victoria M. BSN, RN
  2. Nailon, Regina E. PhD, RN
  3. McCauley, Linda A. PhD, RN, FAAN


This article presents a review of extant literature that informs our current understanding of the effects of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exposure on neonates. Phthalates such as DEHP add flexibility to plastics. DEHP is a major component in the manufacturing of polyvinyl chloride devices commonly used in the healthcare http://setting.Premature and critically ill neonates and infants in the NICU are exposed to DEHP and may be at an increased risk for adverse health outcomes as a result. DEHP has been shown to be a developmental and endocrine disrupting toxicant and is a major component in polyvinyl chloride plastics, which are commonly found in medical equipment used in the NICU. Potential toxicities to infants in the NICU are a concern because infants' small body size and compromised physical condition necessitate a multitude of medical interventions, each increasing exposure levels. Expanding nurses' knowledge regarding DEHP research is important for implementing a precautionary approach to reduce DEHP exposure among NICU patients.