Danish EPA list alternatives for DOP in medical applications

Last week the Danish EPA organized a conference in Copenhagen to present a paper on alternatives for DOP in medical applications. In Europe DOP has been phased out of most applications but is still widely used in medical applications. The last few years some replacement by other plasticizers was seen but still the majority sticked to DOP. It has to be said that from a technical point of view DOP simply performs very well, had a proven track record and was above all cost effective.
The combination of Arkema stopping DOP production and the increasing pressure on finding alternatives is creating a momentum in the medical industry to change and move to alternative plasticizers.
The Danish EPA did evaluate plasticizers which already are being used in medical applications and assesed if those were appropriate. Some of those plasticizers are already being used in medical applications for years but because of cost or availability issues their share remained small.
Products like DOA, TOTM, DOTP and hydrogenated DINP were evaluated and all were classfied as potential replacements for DOP.
This opens the door for change in the medical industry and is expected to speed up the phase out of DOP. There is enough free production capacity of the alternives to support the change and product costs are similar as DOP costs. The Danish EPA mentioned however, that although the mentioned products are considered to be safe for those applications, the producers need to close any data gaps. The plasticizer industry is known for commiting money and resources to close any data gaps and there is no doubt this will happen.

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