The legitimacy of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) carried out by the PVCfreeBloodBag project, which concludes that PVC blood bags “pose a significant risk to human health,” has been called into question by a critical review commissioned by the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM). The latter organisation accuses the PVCfreeBloodBag study of failing to fulfill basic scientific methodology and quality criteria. Its conclusions may be misleading and highly questionable, says ECVM in a press release.
ECVM stresses that the LCA conclusions contradict findings by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on the Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). In 2008, the committee stated that, while “there is reason for some concern for prematurely born male neonates, for whom the DEHP exposure may be transiently above the dose inducing reproductive toxicity in animal studies, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that DEHP exposure via medical treatments has harmful effects in humans.”
The critical review, commissioned by ECVM and conducted by LCA expert Professor Adisa Azapagic from Manchester University, strongly questions the validity of the PVCfreeBloodBag study methodology and conclusions. The review indicates that the PVCfreeBloodBag LCA lacks consistency with state-of-the-art LCA practices and recognised ISO standards. Moreover, some of the methods used are deemed scientifically invalid. In addition to this, the Manchester University expert found that the assessment is based on “unclear, inconsistent and, in some cases, unjustifiable, misleading and biased” assumptions and on old or incomplete data.
Professor Azapagic concluded that “the goal of this LCA study appears to be motivated by a desire to phase out PVC blood bags regardless of the actual LCA results. Therefore, the results of the study should be interpreted with the above in mind," he is quoted as saying in the ECVM press release.