At a trade show about a year ago, a vendor told me that with so much work shipped overseas these days, it is hard to vouch for the quality of all the components in a medical device. Along these lines, I received a release from UL Environment Inc, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories. The company released a white paper about environmental product declarations (EPDs). According to the release, environmental product transparency has become important for manufacturers and building operators. It defined an EPD as, “an internationally accepted, third-party reviewed report detailing a product’s environmental impacts throughout its life cycle, and often includes additional performance, health, and company information.” It suggested that an EPD could be considered an environmental “nutrition label.”

Would this make sense for medical devices, to know the content of components and how they affect health and the environment? Does the makeup of devices and test equipment concern you? The release said EPDs promote transparency and facilitate a comparison of impacts among products in the same category. Would knowing the impact of a component sway a purchasing decision?

How would this benefit the profession—or not?