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CPAP Humidifier Concern: Vinyl Chloride and Carbonates

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Do humidier trays need to be made of ceramic or glass?

Do humidier trays need to be made of ceramic or glass?

CPAP users have a particularly high volume of repetitive surface area air exposed to plastics through their breathing machines.

Future CPAP manufacturers will soon hopefully be changing their water heating humidifier trays to actual glass, or composite ceramic material. The breakdown of chemicals in some plastics can result in the formation of vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. To be honest I”m not sure what kind of plastic my humidifier is made of.

My concern is when small amounts of vinyl chloride can dissolve in water especially when heated. This is for much the same reason you don’t heat bacon on a plastic plate in a microwave. Fortunately in a CPAP the humidified air leaves the chamber, cooling occurs and isn’t as much of a concern. Mine has a metal heating plate, but the plastic is heated as well I’m sure.

I have not as yet seen or read any studies on this concern, but it was one I was thinking about when falling asleep using my CPAP. The use of CPAP probably far outweighs the risks. But perhaps the heated bottom portions of the humidifiers can be designed out of Pyrex, ceramic or glass composite instead of plastic.

Better safe than sorry.


Polycarbonate bottles banned from Europe.
Environmental Health Perspectives


Written by gettheconcept

January 2, 2009 at 7:26 am

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