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Once removed from the body, blood products have prolonged contact time with a large surface area of plastic:

  • probably close to 2 metres of tubing,
  • butterfly needle + attachment
  • centrifuge bowl (spinning at >3000 rpm)
  • sodium citrate bag

And that's just for plasmapheresis. It seems like there is way more tubing and the process is much longer for platelet donors. That appears to be considerable opportunity for various compounds to diffuse out of the plastics and into blood.

The blood is pumped directly back into the donor, skipping whatever protection the digestive system can provide to plasticizer compounds.

These types of donations can be made frequently (every week for plasma, every two weeks for platelets). I have heard of some donors doing 1000+ donations.

There is not a lot on this topic in the literature. Any studies look at one maybe two compounds especially phthalates, and the study sizes are small.

Is there cause for concern?

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