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What is DEHP? Where is it used? Why is it used?

As an industry leader in food & beverage applications, Saint Gobain Performance Plastics has designed a brand-new product line addressing the rising safety concerns about phthalates and the increasing regulatory pressure worldwide. They have reformulated these Tygon® tubing product lines and have developed a bio-based, phthalate-free alternative option – Tygon® S3™ - to address the needs of new regulatory requirements while still providing the same high-performance level. Here is some information they have provided us about DEHP and its regulations.

What is DEHP?

Di (2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is a plasticizer used to make PVC soft and flexible. DEHP is the world's most widely used PVC plasticizer and is used in virtually every category of flexible PVC.

Where is it used?

DEHP is used in a wide range of soft PVC products, from medical devices such as medical tubing
and blood bags to footwear, electrical cables, packaging, and flooring.

Why is it used?

Plasticizers are essential to make PVC flexible. PVC is naturally rigid, but plasticizers are added to make the tubing flexible and expandable while retaining its shape. DEHP is widely used because it is low cost, processes well, and has provided good end-use performance.

Why is Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics developing alternative tubing products that do not contain DEHP? Are non-Phthalates specific to food and beverage?

Recently, regulatory restrictions have been enacted limiting DEHP use. DEHP cannot be used in food contact products, such as tubing, in Europe. This regulation is expected to impact North American food companies in the near future. Additionally, consumer and environmental advocacy groups have aggressively attacked the use of DEHP in the mainstream media. These advocacy groups are expected to influence the current political climate and policymakers to a greater degree than in past years. To build upon TYGON® tubing's position as the tubing of choice in food & Beverage applications, we believe it is important to offer new materials to provide practical solutions to global food industry challenges. We are committed to keeping up with changing regulations and standards and offering products that ensure compliance.

Key regulatory compliances for materials:

REACH is a European chemicals regulation that requires manufacturers to report the substances they use to manufacture their products to the European Chemicals Agency. This reporting demonstrates that the manufacturer's products are being safely produced. Currently, only 15 substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are on the REACh listing. DEHP is one of these 15.

European Food Directive 2002/72/EC restricts the use of DEHP in food contact applications. This directive regulates the manufacture and distribution of plastic products that come in contact with food.

Proposition 65 of the Environmental Protection Agency of the State of California (USA) has listed DEHP as a substance known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. This proposition requires a business to notify California residents about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase.

Is Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics going to have a product line that meets all the global regulatory requirements?

Yes. We have taken a systematic and rigorous approach over the past year and a half to benchmark alternative materials against DEHP. Before the end of 2009, we will introduce replacements for our DEHP-containing food & beverage products. The new products will continue to deliver all the properties the food & beverage industry needs. Not only will we comply with current regulations, but we will be ahead of those expected shortly. Our goal is to meet the new regulatory compliances for materials and offers the most efficient solution for your most demanding food applications.

Use the Tygon® brand to protect your brand!

Title: What is DEHP? Where is it used? Why is it used?
Description: Information from Saint Gobain Performance Plastics on DEHP and the new regulations concerning it.
Published: 1/14/2014
Last Edited: 1/23/2023
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