There are a number of terms that you might see on different products, some of which seem important but that are often ill-defined. One of these phrases, “medical grade”, can be found on items of all types but rarely seems to have much impact on the utility of the item. Still, it’s important to know why you might need an item of this grade as well as what impact it might have on how useful it might be. Fortunately, “medical grade” has a very simple definition—though one that might not be as satisfactory as many might hope.

The Basic Definition
The common definition of “medical grade” doesn’t actually have much to do with the quality of the item. Instead, it has more to do with who is able to sell that item. Under the current definition, “medical grade” items are items that are available from businesses that operate under some type of physician’s license. As such, any medical leak testing equipment sold by a business with a medical director could theoretically be classified as medical grade. It might be better to think about this label as having to do with marketing rather than quality.

Why It is Important
Even if the label doesn’t ensure quality, it’s important to note where the item comes from. If the item is sold by a company with a physician’s license, there is often a very good chance that it lives up to higher standards. Instead of just taking it as a given that an item meets those standards because of the label, you’ll want to do a little digging into where it came from. This will allow you to determine if there’s a real difference between what you buy from a medical grade vendor and what you might get off the shelf elsewhere.

It’s a good idea to consider what it means for an item to be labeled as “medical grade”. Though this really is more of a marketing term than anything else, it’s also often an indicator of quality. It’s up to you, though, to determine if the items you buy only live up to the broadest definition. If you’re willing to look closer, you might find that certain items exceed your expectations while others aren’t much different than what you’d find at a big box store. It is always the job of the consumer to determine what’s real and what is merely part of the marketing materials.

Author's Bio: 

Anica is a freelance writer.