What’s so bad about PVC?
GRRN | PVC | back
Lots. For extensive information on the environmental, human health and
economic impacts of polyvinyl chloride — commonly known as "PVC" or "vinyl” and
chemically known as (C2H3Cl)n — see the list below of additional
links. GRRN’s PVC pages feature information on the myth of PVC recycling.
issued by GRRN [pdf] provides evidence
that PVC bottles and labels threaten the PET bottle recycling infrastructure
and the continued development of bottle-to-bottle PET recycling. There
is no equipment available that will remove 100% of PVC from PET bottles
and at PET’s melt
temperature, PVC burns destroying the surrounding PET and harming
the processing equipment. Separating PVC bottles is costly because
they make up only 2% of the bottles manufactured in the United States.
Yet that same 2% of the bottle stream creates major problems for PET
Furthermore, a recent
report [pdf 1.3MB] from Tufts University cites that vinyl chloride, the
building block of PVC resin, has been classified as a human carcinogen. PVC
production has been found to expose workers and surrounding communities to
vinyl chloride and several studies have documented links between working in
vinyl chloride production facilities and the increased likelihood of developing
diseases including angiosarcoma of the liver and other non-cancer disorders.
Additives mixed with PVC resins such as stabilizers, plasticizers, and fillers
can leach out of a PVC product during its useful life posing public health
hazards, including the development of reproductive problems in children.
|Take Action: Recent PVC campaign victories include agreements from Sears, Kmart, and Target to phase out PVC packaging and products. Watch this flash video[off-site] , then sign up for PVC Action Alerts [off-site].
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