Centro Polimeri Italia was recently called to collaborate as an external laboratory in an investigation conducted by journalists Giulio Valesini and Cataldo Ciccolella from Report (a RAI 3 TV programme) concerning some medical devices produced by Philips. In particular, the investigation focused on a series of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) respirators used by patients suffering from sleep apnea issues. The main matter of concern was the presence of a sound-absorbing foam that minimises the noise made by the device. Following numerous patient reports and claims, it has been verified that this material, upon prolonged use, undergoes two simultaneous degradation processes: a physical degradation, which causes the transit of irritating particles in the airways of the patients themselves, and a chemical one involving the emission of a series of volatile organic compounds. With the help of Centro Polimeri Italia, Report wanted to identify and quantify the chemical substances emitted by these sound-absorbing foams, in order to evaluate their potential adverse effects.
The episode can be viewed at the following link and the statements made by the press offices involved are also available for consultation