Fate in humans of the plasticizer, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, arising from transfusion of platelets stored in vinyl plastic bags

Transfusion. Jul-Aug 1976;16(4):330-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1537-2995.1976.16476247053.x.


Platelet concentrates were shown to contain 18 to 38 mg/dl of a phthalate plasticizer (DEHP) which arose by migration from the vinyl plastic packs in which the platelets were prepared and stored. Transfusion of these platelets into six adult patients with leukemia resulted in peak blood plasma levels of DEHP ranging from 0.34 to 0.83 mg/dl (approximately 0.02 mg/dl plasma per mg DEHP administered per square meter of surface area). The blood levels fell monoexponentially with a mean rate of 2.83 per cent per minute and a half-life of 28.0 minutes. Urine was assayed by a method that would measure unchanged DEHP as well as all phthalic acid-containing metabolites. In two patients, at most 60 and 90 per cent of the infused dose, respectively, was excreted in the urine collected for 24 hours posttransfusion. These estimates, however, could be high due to the simultaneous excretion of DEHP remaining from previous transfusions or arising from uncontrolled environmental exposures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets*
  • Blood Preservation*
  • Diethylhexyl Phthalate / adverse effects*
  • Diethylhexyl Phthalate / blood
  • Diethylhexyl Phthalate / urine
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phthalic Acids / adverse effects*
  • Plastics / adverse effects*
  • Transfusion Reaction*
  • Vinyl Compounds / adverse effects*


  • Phthalic Acids
  • Plastics
  • Vinyl Compounds
  • Diethylhexyl Phthalate