What You Can Do
PVC has been labeled a known carcinogen by the WHO.
The U.S. produced 16 billion pounds of PVC in 2004.
300 million tons of PVC has been produced globally since the 1960s.
Half already disposed to landfills and incinerators.
Half still in current use (construction materials = average life 34 years)**
When burned PVC releases dioxin and some varieties release lead and phthalates and other contaminants.
Over time certain PVCs leach heavy metals.
|Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a non profit. Be Safe Initiative. PVC: The Poison Plastic, the campaign for safe, healthy consumer products.|
|My House Is Your House is the consumer education and advocacy campaign tied to the award-winning documentary, Blue Vinyl, a film that explores and exposes the toxic lifecycle of PVC plastic.|
|GreenPeace. Go PVC-free Campaign.|
|Blue Vinyl. A Toxic Comedy Look at Vinyl, The World's Second Largest Selling Plastic.With humor, hope and a piece of vinyl siding firmly in hand, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand and co-director Daniel B. Gold travel from Helfand’s hometown to America’s vinyl manufacturing capital and beyond in search of answers about the nature of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)|
|Be Safe Initiative of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. List of reports and resources on PVC Hazards.|
|Update on the Environmental Health Impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) as a Building Material: Evidence from 2000-2004 a commentary for the U.S. Green Building Council.|
|* PVC burning in landfill fires might currently be the single largest source of dioxin releases to the environment. Fire fighters are at great risk to exposure as well.
* PVC is formed by the addition of a plethora of toxic chemical stabilizers -
such as lead, cadmium and organotins -it needs hundreds of additives, softeners,
and phthalate plasticisers.
* Pure PVC is useless; it needs hundreds of additives, softeners,
and plasticisers (phthalates).
|During PVC manufacture Dioxin ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride
are unavoidably produced, two hazardous carcinogens.
Pure PVC consists of 57% chlorine and therefore mercury
(chlor-alkali facilities in the United States still use mercury as their catalyst).
Vinyl production in the US is responsible for the annual release of
26 tons of mercury into the atmosphere.*
Some PVC health risks: liver cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, lymphomas...
"300 million tons PVC has been produced globally
since the 1960s. Half has already been disposed at landfills and
incinerators. Half is still in current use (construction
materials = average life 34 years)"**
It is best to dispose of PVC in hazardous waste landfill sites,
or return PVC to the retailer or manufacturer.
Over 7 billion pounds of PVC are thrown away in the U.S. each year.
Only 18 million pounds of that, about one quarter of 1 percent, is recycled.***
What you can do about PVC: