Check Your Catheter for Chemical Warning Labels

By Lisa Wells, Cure Medical

What's in your catheter? It's time to find out!

A new requirement under California's Proposition 65 law now ensures that, prior to sale, medical supply manufacturers must disclose if their products are made with harmful chemicals listed on the State of California's Prop 65 registry. 

As a result of the updated consumer-protection legislation, many catheter users are discovering chemical warning labels on their intermittent catheter package or box if their current brand is made with chemicals like DEHP, DINP or BPA.

Check Your Catheter for Chemical Warning Labels

Why Am I Being Warned About DEHP in Catheters?

According to the Proposition 65 website, DEHP exposure may cause the development of cancer, the reduction of testosterone and sperm count, respiratory problems, and other issues such as birth defects.

Exposure to DEHP during pregnancy may affect the development of the child, and DEHP can be passed from the mother to the unborn child during pregnancy. California law prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of children's toys and child care articles containing DEHP at levels greater than 0.1%.  The FDA has a similar prohibition nationwide for all children's toys.

Unfortunately, DEHP is still being heavily used in the manufacturing process for some brands of catheters, including pediatric catheters, today. DEHP belongs to a family of chemicals, known as phthalates, that are used in manufacturing to make plastic more flexible.

Below is a picture of standardized warning labels on different brands of intermittent catheters that are made with DEHP.  Look for these warning labels on your catheter package or the box that they arrive in.

Prop 65 Warning Label

Leading Disability Advocates Discuss Prop 65 Chemicals

As awareness is spreading about the continued presence of Proposition 65 chemicals in medical supplies, a growing number of leaders in the disability community are raising their voice in support of not using intermittent catheters made with scary chemicals.

Instead, these community advocates are encouraging peers to try a catheter that is not made with DEHP, DINP or BPA.

"As a medical supply professional, I love Cure products. They make quality but inexpensive catheters, which is great. And they show you right on the packaging that Cure catheters are not made with DEHP," shares Jorge Alfaro, who is a paraplegic and peer mentor at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Prop 65 Warning Label

"As a nurse, I had to start caring about the medical supplies I was using, so I could be in the best position to suggest products to patients. Often, we're not taught to be big advocates about our own bodies and the products we use, plus we aren't usually screened enough," Andrea Dalzell adds.

A former Ms. Wheelchair New York titleholder, Andrea is a registered nurse and transverse myelitis survivor.

Learn what more community advocates have to say about Prop 65 chemicals.

You Can Choose a Catheter Not Made with DEHP or DINP

The good news is a variety of quality-made intermittent catheter options are available on the market today that don't require these chemical warning labels.

Realizing the impact of these health concerns, a growing number of medical supply manufacturers offer intermittent catheters that are not made with any Proposition 65 chemicals including DEHP, DINP or BPA. 

Cure Medical is the leader in the marketplace when it comes to a full line of intermittent catheters and closed systems that are not made with Proposition 65 chemicals. Quality-made at a reasonable cost, Cure catheters are distributed by every major medical supply company in the United States and are available for purchase in Canada too.

Below, Cure Medical founder Bob Yant who is himself a catheter user, explains why Cure catheters have never been made with DEHP, DINP or BPA.

Information is power. Feel free to contact your medical supply provider to find out what's in your catheter today!

You have the right to ask for a medical product that is not made with Proposition 65 chemicals. Every licensed medical supply provider will honor that request.

To request free samples of the Cure Catheter® or any Cure Medical catheter, click here.

To further review the risks associated with DEHP in medical supplies and household items, please see the links below.

General DEHP Fact Sheets and Resources

Scientific Information on DEHP

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