The European Commission (EC) has requested the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) to deliver an opinion on the potential health impacts caused by DEHP-containing medical devices.
The relevant SCENIHR working group has identified a need in the field of medical devices containing DEHP. In line with the Rules of procedure of the Scientific Committees, a call for expression of interest for experts in this topic is launched.
The issue about DEHP in the medical device industry is complex and political. The chemical has been classified as as a toxin by the chemical industry and banned in children’s toys. Yet medical device manufacturers are exempt from regulative restrictions on its usage. However, there are life saving qualities of certain medical devices which rely on DEHP for commercial and economic means of production — in some products, like blood bags, DEHP is extremely difficult to replace.
The EC has said that to allow for a comprehensive assessment, experts in various scientific fields related to DEHP in medical devices are encouraged to apply. The SCENIHR is particularly interested in perinatal paediatricians as well as in epidemiologists. It also says that experience in risk assessment would be an advantage.
The call for experts will be a welcome development for a number of groups who have been lobbying for a review of the evidence over the safety of DEHP in medical devices. The last one was carried out in 2008.
The deadline for submission for this call for experts is 24 September 2012 (kindly note that the registration to the database of experts with regard to the general work of the Scientific Committees is permanently open). Applicants are requested to indicate "SCENIHR: Medical devices DEHP - call for experts" in the subject title of the message sent with their application.
The successful candidate will be required to read and accept the conditions for his/her membership in the working group, as explained in detailed in the Rules of procedurepdf(241 KB) of the Scientific Committees.