If you donate blood during your local blood drive or have the unfortunate need to go to the hospital, you’ll notice just how much of our modern medical supplies are made of plastic. Everywhere you look will be mostly single-use plastic—gloves, IV bags and tubing, syringes, bandages, even coating on medications, along with other plastics used in durable medical devices and equipment. Early on, some of these products contained chemicals used in plastics that were discovered to have health concerns, such as phthalates. The healthcare industry became aware of these risks and made some needed adjustments, but it is likely that the use of plastic in medical settings may simply be unavoidable. It is still important, though, to be an advocate for your own health and safety. Study up on what chemicals are in these medical plastics, and what the research says about their risks.

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