Pharmaceutisch Weekblad

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 109–118 | Cite as

PVC as pharmaceutical packaging material

A literature survey with special emphasis on plasticized PVC bags
  • A. A. Van Dooren


In this report the state of the art with respect to PVC as pharmaceutical packaging material is described. A general introduction into the applications of PVC is followed by a description of its production process. The metabolic effects of the monomer of PVC, vinyl chloride and of the most commonly used plasticizer diethylhexylphthalate are mentioned. Special attention is given to the pharmaceutical properties of plasticized PVC bags in comparison to other plastics and the environmental aspects of waste PVC disposal. Although there are emotional and political queries regarding the future use of PVC as a (pharmaceutical) packaging material, we conclude that there is no scientific justification for a total or partial ban of PVC. PVC will remain a fact of life as a cheap, versatile, high-performance and well-investigated plastic material for medical and pharmaceutical applications, to be replaced by newer plastics only for certain well-defined indications where the requirements of the plastic to be used are so specific that it will economically and technically be justified to use another polymer. Community and hospital pharmacists have to be prepared for a role in intake of waste plastic disposables, probably against deposit money, in order to fulfil the logistics needed for recycling.


Chemistry Consumer product safety Drug packaging Environmental pollution Plasticizers Polyvinyls 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for Advancement of Pharmacy 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Van Dooren
    • 1
  1. 1.Medistad Holland BVAB Medemblikthe Netherlands

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