September 22, 2010

Plastic is a miracle of the chemical age. It was invented by Englishman, Alexander Parkes in 1855. 155 years later and we can say that plastic is absolutely everywhere. There are about 50 common polymers, and hundreds of specialty polymers. Every plastic has its own properties, and thus application.

Some plastics are by their nature, rigid. PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a great example. We all know what PVC pipe is. Our house may have vinyl siding or vinyl floors -- and some of us are old enough to remember vinyl records. All are examples of rigid PVC. PVC can be made flexible however, with the addition of a plasticizer. The most common plasticizers are chemicals from the phthalate family. When added to PVC, phthalates allow the long polyvinyl molecules to slide against each other.

Phthalates have been in the news lately and will continue to be a hot topic for years to come. Because phthalates don't adhere to the plastic, as the plastic breaks down, the phthalate is released into the environment. Past research, although not conclusive, link phthalates to a host of negative human and environmental side effects. The United States and many foreign countries have placed restrictions on the use of phthalates. Furthermore, industries such as Medical, Pharmaceutical, Consumer Products and Food Processing are actively looking to replace their existing PVC tubing with a non-phthalate solution.

Up until now, the only tubing Freelin-Wade made with phthalates was PVC. Today we are announcing that our PVC tubing is now made from non-phthalate resins.

To the user, the new PVC resin is identical in properties and specifications. You will not notice a difference. The new material is used in our standard PVC but not our reinforced PVC just yet. We are working with our suppliers for a long-term solution.None of our other tubing, contains plasticizers. This includes our Fre-Thane(R) Polyurethane.

Replacing our resins with non-phthalate resins is just another example of why we say that Freelin-Wade plastic tubing is worry-free. It fits, arrives on-time, and now is non-phthalate!