is pvc toxic
Since the 1990s, PVC-waste is increasingly being shipped to China, India, or Africa for “reprocessing”. It, too, can impart a plastic taste to water that goes away with time, but since it isn’t glued together, there are fewer toxic solvents used in installing it. PVC – the Poison Plastic VC is the most toxic plastic for our health and environment. So products manufactured from PEVA is considered to be a healthier alternative to PVC … We find it all around us: in packaging, home furnishings, children's toys, automobile parts, building materials, hospital supplies, and hundreds of other products. This material is seen to be a less toxic version of vinyl due to the fact that it is non-chlorinated (contains no chloride). A buildup of VOCs in the household (sometimes called sick building syndrome) can result in … PVC contaminates humans and the environment throughout its lifecycle during its production, use and disposal. Is PVC and Phthalate in toys toxic and dangerous for baby and child. The problems of plastics include extreme pollution from production, toxic chemical exposure during use, hazards from fires, and their contribution to the world's growing solid waste crisis. ), How to Turn Your Bread Loaf Recipe into a Roll Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Honey Rolls, Toxic Teflon: 10 Ways to Minimize Your Family's Exposure, Question: How Do You Compost? We talked to the PVC Guru to get all the answers every parent should know. No one can escape contamination: Everyone, everywhere has measurable levels of chlorinated toxins in their bodies. Plasticizers have been shown to be directly transferred from PVC plastic "cling film" to food. Talk to firefighters, architects, engineers, plumbers, doctors, hospital workers and toy manufacturers about the dangers of PVC. For a list of USA-based suppliers, manufacturers, and importers of alternatives and PVC-free building materials, please see our online resource guide to PVC alternatives. The good news is that this industrial transition can be accomplished in a manner that is fair to all involved -- the plastic manufacturers, industrial workers, and host communities. Thousands of accidental fires in buildings containing PVC result in releases of dioxin in ash and soot, contaminating both the environment and the affected building. Increasing scientific evidence suggests that many of these chemicals are disrupting the hormone systems of wildlife, leading to birth defects, infertility, reproductive difficulties and developmental problems in offspring. Copyright © var creditsyear = new Date();document.write(creditsyear.getFullYear()); Recycling of PVC plastic is not a solution to the environmental problems created during its production and use. But one plastic stands alone: PVC, throughout its lifecycle, is the most environmentally damaging of all plastics. According to fire experts, it is not unusual for people caught in building fires to be killed by toxic PVC fumes before the flames actually reach them. PVC production is the largest and fastest-growing use of chlorine -- accounting for nearly 40 percent of all chlorine used in the United States. See the safer options we’ve found here. No one can escape contamination; every one of us has measurable amounts of chlorinated toxins in our bodies. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog. PVC contains dangerous chemical additives including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child's health. As consumers increasingly demand PVC-free products, and as the environmental and health costs of PVC are recognized, practical alternatives will become more economically viable. BMW, Herliltz, IKEA, Opel, Sony-Europe and Volkswagen have all announced policies to eliminate PVC uses. Yes, off-gassing is not a big issue if furniture is outside. Have something to say? Early potty training isn't about never putting a diaper on your newborn. Government policies sanction and encourage this practice. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary dangers to children. First the primer is applied and then the cement to join the pipes. But the price we pay for a low-cost and seemingly harmless piece of PVC pipe or soft vinyl toy is far steeper than it may at first appear. I have chairs with vinyl siding with and am concerned about health risks given I have two young children. Dioxin has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of WHO) and the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Merely handling a binder made with PVC stabilized by lead can result in lead exposure. These corrosive gases can spread faster than flames, trapping building occupants before they have a chance to escape. You can get the jest of it, the toxic plastic transfer to food is unavoidable. Nearby communities, farms, and fishing areas suffer the consequences. Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBTs) chemicals or substances pose a risk to the marine environment because they resist degradation, persisting for years or even decades. Proposals for transition planning have already been developed by labor and environmental organizations. Usually clear in color, the vast majority of … Read my full disclosure policy, Household Cleaners and Personal Products I Use, the most toxic plastic for children’s health and the environment, PVC, Bad News Come in Threes, the Poison Plastic, Health Hazards & the Looming Waste Crisis, Smart Plastics Guide: Healthier Food Uses of Plastics for Parents and Children, Choosing Arts & Crafts Materials that Are Safe for Kids. Is it too good to be true? The smell of new car interiors is a familiar example of what experts call chemical "fogging" from PVC products. Write to your Congressional Representatives and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Demand PVC-free alternatives. As part of the games' environmental design, the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney are being planned with an effort to minimize the use of chlorinated compounds, including PVC. 3. On a practical level, heating PVC pipe can cause distortion. I'm sure there is. Most common plastics pose serious threats to human health and the environment. And some organochlorines can impact on human life before birth, during the most delicate stages of development -- a disastrous toxic legacy for future generations. Use Eco-friendly and PVC-free Yoga Mats to Avoid P... Thrift Store Find: "Like New" Birthday Gifts for Kids, Easy Eco-tip Tuesday: Unjunk Your Mail Box, Everything Eco-novice Knows About Cloth Diapers. HealthyStuff.org tested 21 different garden hoses and found phthalates (endocrine-disruptors), antimony and bromine (markers of flame retardants used in plastics) and lead. PVC is the most environmentally damaging plastic. Discharged pollutants impact nearby drinking water supplies and on-site incinerators spread dioxin and other hazardous compounds into the air. Is there a danger with outdoor furniture? For instance, one study of PVC shower curtains found that they released phthalates capable of causing nausea and damage to the liver and reproductive system. In Denmark, government officials are currently considering the phase out of PVC by the year 2000. PBTs are toxic to humans and marine organisms and have been shown to accumulate at various trophic levels through the food chain. Also, dioxins are byproducts of PVC yoga mats’ manufacturing and disposal. Many PVC additives, including phthalates and heavy metals such as lead, slowly leach out of PVC plastics over time when placed in a landfill (many of which are unlined), eventually contaminating ground and surface water. Demand that they halt the expansion of the PVC industry and begin the phase-out of PVC. Dioxin is known as one of the most toxic chemicals ever produced. Polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PETE or PET. Hundreds of chlorine-based toxins are building up in the air, water and food chain. The product of the polymerization process is unmodified PVC. Before PVC can be made into finished products, it always requires conversion into a compound by the incorporation of additives (but not necessarily all of the following) such as heat stabilizers, UV stabilizers, plasticizers, processing aids, impact modifiers, thermal modifiers, fillers, flame retardants, biocides, blowing agents and smoke suppressors, and, optionally, pigments. In those cases where traditional materials cannot be used as a replacement, even chlorine-free plastics are preferable to PVC. Because PVC on its own is almost useless, it must be combined with a number of additives in order to give it the properties desired in the final product. In its production, it releases dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium and other toxic chemicals. Dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are unintentionally created whenever chlorine-based chemicals are produced, used or burned. According to CHEJ, "Scientists have found certain vinyl chemicals linked to asthma, cancer, birth defects, learning and developmental disabilities, obesity, diabetes and other preventable chronic diseases on the rise.". Examples of potential human exposure are as numerous as the PVC products themselves. PEX tubing, PVC pipe, and CPVC pipe marked “NSF-61” or “NSF-PW” indicate that they have passed testing for potentially harmful chemicals leaching into the water. Use Eco-friendly and PVC-free Yoga Mats to Avoid Phthalates and Other Toxic Chemicals, Plastic-free and BPA-free Feeding Gear for Babies and Kids, The Best Potties for Early Potty Training, Gluten-free German Pancakes (just as good as the wheat version! PVC cement (glue) and primer is used to soften pipes and weld pieces of plumbing together. Dioxins are persistent and bioaccumulative. PVC has also been blamed for emitting chemical softeners called phthalates (in vinyl flooring), lead additives (in blinds), and toxic glues. Even at low concentrations, PBTs can be insidious in the environment due to their ability to biomagnify up the food web, leading to toxic effects at higher trophic levels even though ambient conce… The EPA has also concluded that the levels of dioxin currently found in most adults and children are already high enough to present significant health threats to the American public. For more than 30 years, leading health, environmental justice, and health-impacted organizations across the country and world have been campaigning to phase out this poison plastic. Article continues below advertisement Why is PVC harmful? In its ongoing study of dioxin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that there is no safe level of dioxin exposure. The choice of additives used for the PVC finished product is con… I personally would probably get rid of them, but it depends on how easily you can replace them. Not to mention that most of us would simply reheat the food in the same container, be it plastic, rather than put it on a plate. Contact companies if you're not sure what a product is made of. PVC (#3 plastics) have another nasty lurking, a toxic group of chemicals called Organotin compounds. Instead, many of these compounds accumulate in fatty tissue, resulting in contamination levels thousands or millions of times greater than is found in the surrounding environment. There is compelling evidence that it is now possible -- and crucial -- to implement a rapid transition to safer materials. These additives include toxic plasticizers (such as phthalates), stabilizers containing dangerous heavy metals (such as lead), fungicides, and other toxic substances. Environmental Protection Agency401 M Street S.W.Washington, DC 20460, Avoid buying vinyl/PVC products whenever possible, and reduce your overall use of plastics. Additives can wash out, pass into other materials or be lost to air. PVC. Chlorine is the basic building block of our most infamous toxic problems: CFCs which destroyed the ozone layer, the dioxin contamination at Love Canal and Times Beach, Agent Orange, PCBs and DDT pesticides. Vinyl is the least recyclable plastic because of the diversity of additives used to make different types of PVC products. Ask them to support a PVC phase-out. Numerous companies and governments have enacted PVC restrictions and material substitution policies. No other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals. Evidence suggests that, throughout its entire lifecycle, PVC is responsible for a greater share of the nation's annual dioxin burden than any other industrial product. In order to successfully stay away from such a pervasive plastic, you need to know when “vinyl” is not PVC. This causes some concerns not only for the usefulness of the pipe but also because the pipe's materials might leech into tanks or water lines when the PVC pipe is exposed to temperatures near its melting point. When garbage is incinerated (still a method of waste disposal in many states), additional dioxins are released into the environment. Is Your Garden Hose Leaching BPA, Lead, and Phthalates into Your Water? Active PVC pipes should never be heate… Big construction projects such as the Eurotunnel between England and continental Europe were completed without the use of PVC. The answer is that PVC is toxic to humans throughout its life cycle. Wagner adds that “3” and “7” also indicate PVC and PUR plastics, respectively, which his study found contained the most toxicity. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is widely known as the most toxic plastic for health and the environment. Write to: The Honorable ___________________United States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515, The Honorable ___________________United States SenateWashington, DC 20510Carol Browner, EPA AdministratorU.S. Since safer alternatives are available for virtually all uses of PVC, it is possible to protect human health and the environment by replacing and eventually phasing out this poison plastic. Some of these chemicals are defined as priority pollutants, which are regulated by governmental agencies because of their toxicity or persistence in organisms and food webs. Communities surrounding PVC plants are particularly susceptible to the toxic chemical pollution from PVC production. The burning of PVC produces dioxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known. PVC—polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl—is found in a range of products, from children's toys to building materials to food packaging. Sign up for my, Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Most human exposure is through food, mainly meat, dairy products, fish and shellfish (dioxins concentrate in the fatty tissue of animals). According to a 2004 CHEJ report, "Non-durable (short-lived) products account for more than 70% of PVC disposed in municipal solid waste in the U.S.". Due to increased demand, in various countries the marke Hundreds of European communities have instituted restrictions on the use of PVC in public buildings. I still just steer clear of PVC all together b/c there are still the issues with manufacturing and disposal, but phthalate-free PVC is definitely better than PVC with phthalates (this comes up a bit in the yoga mat post, where I discuss so-called "clean PVC"). While most plastics do not get recycled, PVC is the worst offender -- it's the least recyclable of all plastics. These chemicals are used as a stabilizer in PVC. This is because melted PVC can give off a corrosive toxic gas. The PVC lifecycle -- its production, use, and disposal -- results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals. Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC or vinyl, is arguably one of the most toxic types of plastic in our lives. In addition, when PVC-products are accidentally mixed with non-chlorine plastics, they contaminate the entire recycling process. Here are … Polyvinyl chloride produces a great deal of vapor whic… Polyvinyl Chloride Economical, versatile polyvinyl chloride (PVC, or vinyl) is used in a variety of applications in the building and construction, health care, electronics, automobile and other sectors, in products ranging from piping and siding, blood bags and tubing, to wire and cable insulation, windshield system components and more. With a melting point of about 176 degrees Fahrenheit, PVC pipes may bend as the material approaches this temperature. In addition, PVC plastic requires toxic additives, including heavy metals such as lead, endocrine-disrupting phthalates , and toxic flame retardants , in order to be made into stable and usable consumer products. Pure PVC plastic is 57% chlorine, a toxic substance whose production generates substantial pollution (see below). Yes, it is true that PVC has some toxic characteristics. Thus any dose, no matter how low, can result in severe health damage. The main ingredient in PVC is vinyl chloride, which is a known human carcinogen. Because dioxin and other chlorinated chemicals can migrate around the world, the harmful effects of PVC production are felt everywhere. PVC is a known carcinogen and should generally be avoided where possible. These have been found to cause hormonal changes and … Please leave a comment!I read all comments and try to respond to questions in a timely manner.Comments are now moderated due to spam overload and have to be approved (by me) - so don't worry if your comment does not appear immediately after you publish it. Although the glue dries quickly and forms a strong bond, it can be hazardous to your health if it comes in contact with skin or is inhaled. Although PVC is flame resistant, PVC products release toxic hydrogen chloride gas when heated. There is increasing evidence that the same trends are being observed in humans world-wide, including decreased sperm counts, rising rates of certain cancers, deformities of the reproductive organs, mental problems such as attention deficit disorder, and weakened immune systems. My guess is, unless your child is sucking on the furniture, the immediate harm to individuals is small. Chemicals in plastic which give them their rigidity or flexibility (flame retardants, bisphenols, phthalates and other harmful chemicals) are oily poisons that repel water and stick to petroleum-based objects like plastic debris. Of the 14 U.S. plants that make VCM (vinyl chloride monomer, the building block used to make PVC) all but one are located in Louisiana and Texas. These include dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium, and organotins. Many vinyl facilities are located in poor communities with little political clout. In 1987, the town of Reveilletown, Louisiana became so contaminated that all 106 residents were relocated and every structure torn down, even the church. Vinyl (#3 recycling code) is commonly used as a nickname for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The PVC lifecycle -- its production, use, and disposal -- results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals. Dubbed the most toxic plastic, vinyl – or polyvinyl chloride – is used today in a superfluity of items surrounding us. What about phthalates free PVC? When burned, PVC plastic forms dioxins, a highly toxic group of chemicals that build up in the food chain, can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems. Eco-novice | Powered by Blogger, Design by Anders Noren | Blogger Theme by NewBloggerThemes.com, Would you like more ideas and tips about Going Green Gradually? The use of PVC in construction (the largest overall use of PVC) doubled between 1980 and 1995. Many of these chemicals, called organochlorines, are resistant to breakdown and will remain in the environment for decades to come. Polyvinyl Chloride can be injection molded just like other plastics but the inclusion of chlorine in the material complicates the process. I've seen that term on Melissa & Doug product sites. When Is “Vinyl” Not PVC? In the most severe cases, entire communities have been literally wiped off the map. Because so much PVC is used in construction and household items, accidental building fires have become increasingly more dangerous for firefighters and building occupants. Substitutes for PVC include traditional materials such as clay, glass, ceramics and linoleum. PVC is probably the worst outgassing offender and is prevalent throughout the household. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning in 1996 when it discovered that PVC miniblinds were giving off lead dust, which can have brain-damaging effects on children. (Please Comment!). These toxins are building up in the water, air and food chain. Polyvinyl chloride secures pieces of pipe quickly in a process called solvent welding. PVC is the most environmentally damaging plastic. The PVC will create a large number of toxic chemicals like dioxins and phthalates that are released into the air and can produce toxic fumes into the environment. Dioxins are also released due to the numerous accidental fires that burn buildings and vehicles, two sectors that use substantial amounts of PVC. The numbers are pathetic. This is a classic case of environmental racism. This is because PVC items contain so many additives that recycling would be impractical and expensive. The harmful chemicals associated with plastics can be divided into three categories: ingredients of the plastic material, byproducts of manufacturing and chemicals adsorbed from the environment. Though it is an affordable choice for home interior decorations. Large companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Mattel, and the Body Shop have phased out PVC packaging. In fact, Healthy Child Healthy World claims that PVC is one of the most toxic plastics out there. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Polyvinyl chloride is a hard plastic that is known for its long-term stability, … The more colourful a plastic bottle/container, the more toxic it is. Some communities, however, are hit far harder than others. 1. Spread the message. PVC plastic is the only plastic made with chlorine. The result: severe health problems, including cancer, immune system damage, and hormone disruption. As builders and policymakers become increasingly aware of the safety risks and potential expenses resulting from PVC fires, more restrictions are being enacted against the use of PVC in building construction. Management of the nearby Dow Chemical factory followed suit soon after, buying out the entire town of Morrisonville, Louisiana. Whatever the advantages of PVC may have been, today, it is indisputable that PVC is a known toxin to both humans and animals alike. While all plastics pose serious threats to human health and the environment, few consumers realize that PVC is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics. Garden Hoses Your typical garden hose is made from the most toxic plastic currently in existence: PVC (vinyl). We are exposed to the gas that PVC yoga mats emit. 2. Is there such a thing as phthalate-free PVC? When reaching these locations the PVC is usually either just burned or put in landfills. One reason why PVC is so toxic is that it is often mixed with softening chemicals called plasticizers, the most well known variety being phalates. By cutting PVC use, you are striking a blow for environmental justice, and supporting the life and death struggle being waged today by local residents on the front lines of the grassroots toxics movement. The Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a non-profit organization based in New York, calls polyvinyl chloride “one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created” [source: CHEJ]. They are found in vinyl flooring and harder PVC toys. In fact, this commonplace plastic is one of the biggest contributors to the flood of toxic substances saturating our planet and its inhabitants. Its advantages are that it is highly versatile and relatively inexpensive. Accordingly, shops need to be equipped with sufficient ventilation systems. There is a growing awareness of PVC's toxic nature, but the quest to avoid it is daunting. The burning of PVC is responsible for 80 % of dioxin air pollution.
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