Why Medical Device and Packaging Engineers are Moving to Polyolefin Packaging

Richard Fountain News

Polyvinyl chloride – otherwise known as PVC – has previously been the material of choice for medical fluid bags. But, recent studies have shown that the production, use and disposal of PVCs have been linked to health risks. Not to mention the material’s negative environmental impact. Polyolefins, on the other hand, are one of the most common and safe plastics on the market. They already appear in catheter, specimen transport, fluid collection, breast milk and some ported IV-style bags.

Today, many medical organizations are making the switch to polyolefins, which do not share PVC’s negative effects, or release its toxins. Polyolefins have unique properties that no other material can safely match, making tomorrow’s medical supplies safer for use.

  • Polyolefins are flexible. Without the use of any plasticizers, a polyolefin like Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) can be folded, twisted, and crinkled – all without damaging the integrity of the package.
  • Polyolefins are liquid tight. Using thermal bonding to seal two layers together, polyolefin packages can be sealed without adhesives. Even medical fluid bags with unusual shapes, tubing and other connections remain liquid tight with the right bonding processes.
  • Polyolefins are safe. Chemically speaking, polyolefins are inert – they don’t interact with anything else. This means there is no hazard to the fluid inside the package. It won’t absorb anything from or lose anything to the container. And there’s no question that polyolefins won’t cause users cancer or lead to other health problems for users.

Thinking about designing your next custom fluid medical bag with polyolefins?

Polyolefins can also be cost-effective to produce and manufacture to scale. See our white paper on its benefits.