Merely handling a binder made with PVC stabilized by lead can result in lead exposure. Due to increased demand, in various countries the marke Hundreds of European communities have instituted restrictions on the use of PVC in public buildings. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is the most toxic plastic for our health and the environment. Have something to say? In addition to that, most stores package foods in plastic bags. The use of PVC in construction (the largest overall use of PVC) doubled between 1980 and 1995. ), 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? Though it is an affordable choice for home interior decorations. And some organochlorines can impact on human life before birth, during the most delicate stages of development -- a disastrous toxic legacy for future generations. Polyethylene terephthalate, also known as PETE or PET. 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. PVC has also been blamed for emitting chemical softeners called phthalates (in vinyl flooring), lead additives (in blinds), and toxic glues. 1. Healthy Child Healthy World describes PVC as the most toxic plastic , and vinyl chloride, the chemical used to make PVC, has been described as a known carcinogen by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Dioxins are persistent and bioaccumulative. (PVC is sometimes identified with the following symbol.). So products manufactured from PEVA is considered to be a healthier alternative to PVC … Its advantages are that it is highly versatile and relatively inexpensive. Polyvinyl Chloride can be injection molded just like other plastics but the inclusion of chlorine in the material complicates the process. The lead in the PVC migrates to the surface where it is readily picked up by your hand and then transferred to the mouth. 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. 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. But one plastic stands alone: PVC, throughout its lifecycle, is the most environmentally damaging of all plastics. 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. 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. 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. Dioxins are also released due to the numerous accidental fires that burn buildings and vehicles, two sectors that use substantial amounts of PVC. My guess is, unless your child is sucking on the furniture, the immediate harm to individuals is small. The choice of additives used for the PVC finished product is con… Examples of potential human exposure are as numerous as the PVC products themselves. 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. 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. Active PVC pipes should never be heate… Thank you for your support. The PVC lifecycle -- its production, use, and disposal -- results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals. Is the off-gassing mitigated because of being outdoors? These plants release huge amounts of toxic chemicals into the environment around them. In order to successfully stay away from such a pervasive plastic, you need to know when “vinyl” is not PVC. The possible toxicological responses caused by plastic can thus be a combination of all of these chemicals. These include dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium, and organotins. 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. 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! Write to: The Honorable ___________________United States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515, The Honorable ___________________United States SenateWashington, DC 20510Carol Browner, EPA AdministratorU.S. Vinyl is the least recyclable plastic because of the diversity of additives used to make different types of PVC products. No other plastic contains or releases as many dangerous chemicals. The result: severe health problems, including cancer, … The main ingredient in PVC is vinyl chloride, which is a known human carcinogen. 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. Here are … Communities surrounding PVC plants are particularly susceptible to the toxic chemical pollution from PVC production. With a melting point of about 176 degrees Fahrenheit, PVC pipes may bend as the material approaches this temperature. 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. Thus any dose, no matter how low, can result in severe health damage. This material is seen to be a less toxic version of vinyl due to the fact that it is non-chlorinated (contains no chloride). I've seen that term on Melissa & Doug product sites. Copyright © var creditsyear = new Date();document.write(creditsyear.getFullYear()); I'm sure there is. 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. PVC is probably the worst outgassing offender and is prevalent throughout the household. Recycling of PVC plastic is not a solution to the environmental problems created during its production and use. In fact, Healthy Child Healthy World claims that PVC is one of the most toxic plastics out there. Government policies sanction and encourage this practice. 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. PVC can be replaced with safer materials in virtually all cases. In fact, this commonplace plastic is one of the biggest contributors to the flood of toxic substances saturating our planet and its inhabitants. Because so much PVC is used in construction and household items, accidental building fires have become increasingly more dangerous for firefighters and building occupants. PVC is a known carcinogen and should generally be avoided where possible. The burning of PVC is responsible for 80 % of dioxin air pollution. Yes, off-gassing is not a big issue if furniture is outside. First the primer is applied and then the cement to join the pipes. Polyvinyl chloride secures pieces of pipe quickly in a process called solvent welding. 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. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog. Is PVC and Phthalate in toys toxic and dangerous for baby and child. The result: severe health problems, including cancer, immune system damage, and hormone disruption. See the safer options we’ve found here. The answer is that PVC is toxic to humans throughout its life cycle. In its production, it releases dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium and other toxic chemicals. Wagner adds that “3” and “7” also indicate PVC and PUR plastics, respectively, which his study found contained the most toxicity. Many of these chemicals, called organochlorines, are resistant to breakdown and will remain in the environment for decades to come. 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. PVC – the Poison Plastic VC is the most toxic plastic for our health and environment. Large companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Mattel, and the Body Shop have phased out PVC packaging. These toxins are building up in the water, air and food chain. 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. 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. PVC cement (glue) and primer is used to soften pipes and weld pieces of plumbing together. 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. PVC is restricted from some city high-rises and military and aerospace projects. Due to the chemical structure of organochlorines, humans and animals are unable to efficiently expel them from their bodies. Scientific studies reveal that these chemicals are linked to severe and wide-spread health problems, including infertility, immune system damage, impaired childhood development, hormone disruption, cancer and many other harmful effects. Substitutes for PVC include traditional materials such as clay, glass, ceramics and linoleum. In the most severe cases, entire communities have been literally wiped off the map. Spread the message. (Please Comment!). 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. In Denmark, government officials are currently considering the phase out of PVC by the year 2000. I personally would probably get rid of them, but it depends on how easily you can replace them. PVC contaminates humans and the environment throughout its lifecycle during its production, use and disposal. What about phthalates free PVC? Demand that they halt the expansion of the PVC industry and begin the phase-out of PVC. 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. PVC plastic is the only plastic made with chlorine. They are found in vinyl flooring and harder PVC toys. We are exposed to the gas that PVC yoga mats emit. You can get the jest of it, the toxic plastic transfer to food is unavoidable. Early potty training isn't about never putting a diaper on your newborn. The numbers are pathetic. The burning of PVC produces dioxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known. 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. These toxins are building up in the water, air and food chain. In addition, when PVC-products are accidentally mixed with non-chlorine plastics, they contaminate the entire recycling process. Pure PVC plastic is 57% chlorine, a toxic substance whose production generates substantial pollution (see below). In those cases where traditional materials cannot be used as a replacement, even chlorine-free plastics are preferable to PVC. 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. 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. Polyvinyl chloride produces a great deal of vapor whic… 2. There is a growing awareness of PVC's toxic nature, but the quest to avoid it is daunting. 3. Garden Hoses Your typical garden hose is made from the most toxic plastic currently in existence: PVC (vinyl). These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary dangers to children. We talked to the PVC Guru to get all the answers every parent should know. No one can escape contamination; every one of us has measurable amounts of chlorinated toxins in our bodies. While most plastics do not get recycled, PVC is the worst offender -- it's the least recyclable of all plastics. Talk to firefighters, architects, engineers, plumbers, doctors, hospital workers and toy manufacturers about the dangers of PVC. Ask them to support a PVC phase-out. And yet, PVC is found in almost so many of the things we use every day, including pipes, window frames, toys, bottles, blister packs, shoes, credit cards, drawer slides, and more. These have been found to cause hormonal changes and … 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. No one can escape contamination: Everyone, everywhere has measurable levels of chlorinated toxins in their bodies. Sign up for my, Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Any hand contact with the chair could potentially leave undesirable substances on the hands though. 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.". 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]. 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. Environmental Protection Agency401 M Street S.W.Washington, DC 20460, Avoid buying vinyl/PVC products whenever possible, and reduce your overall use of plastics. When reaching these locations the PVC is usually either just burned or put in landfills. Is Your Garden Hose Leaching BPA, Lead, and Phthalates into Your Water? Numerous companies and governments have enacted PVC restrictions and material substitution policies. Most common plastics pose serious threats to human health and the environment. This is because PVC items contain so many additives that recycling would be impractical and expensive. These chemicals are used as a stabilizer in PVC. Proposals for transition planning have already been developed by labor and environmental organizations. 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. PVC—polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl—is found in a range of products, from children's toys to building materials to food packaging. When garbage is incinerated (still a method of waste disposal in many states), additional dioxins are released into the environment. There is compelling evidence that it is now possible -- and crucial -- to implement a rapid transition to safer materials. Article continues below advertisement Why is PVC harmful? Most human exposure is through food, mainly meat, dairy products, fish and shellfish (dioxins concentrate in the fatty tissue of animals). Over the past few decades, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastic, commonly known as "vinyl," has become one of the most widely-used types of plastics. 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. HealthyStuff.org tested 21 different garden hoses and found phthalates (endocrine-disruptors), antimony and bromine (markers of flame retardants used in plastics) and lead. Since the 1990s, PVC-waste is increasingly being shipped to China, India, or Africa for “reprocessing”. On a practical level, heating PVC pipe can cause distortion. The Swedish Parliament voted in 1995 to phase out soft PVC and rigid PVC with additives that are already identified as harmful. Dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are unintentionally created whenever chlorine-based chemicals are produced, used or burned. In its ongoing study of dioxin, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that there is no safe level of dioxin exposure. The product of the polymerization process is unmodified PVC. Also, dioxins are byproducts of PVC yoga mats’ manufacturing and disposal. 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