Plastics Expert on 60 Minutes Says PP is not Biocompatible

//Plastics Expert on 60 Minutes Says PP is not Biocompatible

Plastics Expert on 60 Minutes Says PP is not Biocompatible

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 15, 2018 ~ Mesh News Desk wanted to chat with plastics expert, Chris DeArmitt, who appeared on camera on the 60 Minutes story from Sunday, May 13th.

Mesh News Desk reports that polypropylene (PP) mesh, whether sourced from China or Texas, has inherent properties that once placed permanently, appear to undergo changes.  We asked plastics expert DeArmitt of Phantom Plastics , what they are. 

Q. What is your reaction to the piece?

A. I am happy that CBS has made people aware of these serious issues.


Q. Some have expressed disappointment it didn’t go far enough.

A. 60 Minutes is a short format show, so they only had time to explain one topic in any detail. There is plenty of information available for people who want to learn more.

Q. Isn’t all mesh made from PP?

A. The majority of mesh is made from polypropylene but other polymers are used as well. Examples include PET, PTFE (a type of Teflon(r)) and PVDF.

Image from 60 Minutes

Q. Wouldn’t the same conclusions apply to all mesh?

A. Well, each polymer has it’s own pros and cons so no, the same conclusions do not apply to all mesh.

Q. Well, do the conclusions apply to all PP mesh?

A. No. Polypropylene is infamous for being unstable. It is attacked readily by oxygen, even at room temperature or body temperature. That is well proven and I go into great detail about that in my expert reports. How long the PP will last in any application depends on the amount and type of antioxidant (stabilizer) in the PP. It was stated that the original Marlex mesh mentioned on the program did not contain anywhere near enough stabilizer to last for decades in the body and that the new PP from China contains significantly less stabilizer than their original Marlex PP mesh did. 

Phillips Petroleum ad for Marlex plastic

It should be noted that all Marlex mesh is not the same. Some manufactures choose to add a significant amount of stabilizer to make their mesh last longer before it degrades. 

Q. Are you aware that women are told today the mesh is different? Is it?

A. Yes, mesh today is generally different than mesh from the past. For example, PP mesh is known to cause a reaction in the body and that is undesirable. The less PP there is, the less severe the reaction is (on average) so the focus has been on using PP mesh that’s lighter weight, i.e. contains less PP. Older meshes also had smaller pores and it was found that larger pores (holes in the weave) are better for the body so there has been a move to larger pores over recent years. In addition, there are coated PP meshes where the coating is designed to reduce reaction in the body. Unfortunately, despite all these advances, the most common mesh is still uncoated PP which has been reported to cause a chronic reaction in the body that can lead to discomfort and pain.

Q. So it’s really up to the woman, in the case of gynecologic, or men with hernia mesh, to ask the question when the doctor says its “different” – How is it different?  Is it still polypropylene?

A. People should ask what type of mesh is being used and whether there is a viable alternative procedure that does not use mesh at all. Consult with a medical professional then get a second and even a third opinion.

Q. Can we say that PP is NOT biocompatible with the human body in a general sense?

A. Yes, we can say that PP is not biocompatible. There are many peer-reviewed article to prove that.  ###

By |2018-06-20T14:01:09+00:00May 15th, 2018|News|8 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Anon May 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this article! Knowledge is Power

  2. Urb May 15, 2018 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    This just is not enough information about the properties of mesh and the effects it has on human body. We all have mutiple complex issues with our health.
    Someone needs to follow up with each and everyone of us to find some solutions! SOON! Time is not on our side!

    • Jane Akre May 19, 2018 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Mesh news desk has ma,t stories on polypropylene. Please put. PP or polypropylene in the search bar.

  3. Donna May 15, 2018 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Hello , my name is Donna. I’ve had 3 repairs done. Plastic is plasticI have and still do suffer. Oh my goodness. Plastic doesn’t need to be in our bodies. I’m suffering I hurt so bad.

  4. Caroline May 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    Can this plastic expert give us info on peek as it has the same side effects as polypropylene

  5. M. Atkins May 19, 2018 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    My husband and I are also concerned about the side effects of the polypropylene has on the body but I suppose we’ve seen some of the side affects already. I’m in pain every day and the pain brings on the depression and embarrassment. Boston Scientific owes us an explanation of everything.

  6. anon May 20, 2018 at 8:36 am - Reply

    After years of mesh in my body, I still ask ” Why is this inside me ? It does not even accomplish what it was suppose to do,” I still pee my pants ! So, it was for nothing. Maybe , someone should be held accountable for this fact, alone. It does not work !!! They put polypropelene in our bodies and cause injury and get away with it.
    I boil with anger as I read every article.

    • S Williams May 21, 2018 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I hear you, I just had botox in my bladder in hopes that it will stop the bladder leakage. I have to say it has helped somewhat, but it has not gone away completely. Why the heck did I do this to begin with, I really only had a little leakage but the main problem was to fix a rectocele. Now I have so many issues with my body it’s unreal. All I want is my life backSSS, but I don’t see that happening.

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