Studies show that some toxins in plastics are building up in humans and that some of us may be experiencing serious health effects as a result.
Here’s what you should know about PVC, a largely unrealised public health menace.
PVC: The Poison Plastic
EVER wondered why your new car; plastic shower cap, curtain or tote bag; or your baby’s new toy has an offensive smell for days, even months? There’s more to that “new” smell than you think. That whiff of bad air you get is from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) — one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created on earth — which is present in these and many other consumer products we use daily.
But the danger doesn’t stop there. Did you know: From the time it is manufactured right up to its disposal, PVC keeps on releasing dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, making it the worst plastic for our health and the environment.
What is PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC or vinyl, is one of the most common synthetic materials. It’s widely used in construction materials (eg: pipes and fittings, windows, flooring, fencing, decking, roofing, wall coverings, wire and cable products), transport and packaging materials, medical supplies, and consumer products (eg: credit cards and toys).
PVC use has grown rapidly since World War II, when it gained popularity as a rubber substitute. PVC is presently the second most widely used plastic in the world. And it’s one of today’s most dangerous toxic offenders. It cannot be recycled, and it is considered by many experts to be the most dangerous, carcinogenic plastic ever created by man.
Why It’s Dangerous
PVC is dangerous to human health and the environment throughout its entire life cycle — at the factory, in our homes, and in the trash.? Its manufacture, product life and disposal all pose great environmental and health hazards.
When used, PVC products pose health risks. Many of the toxic additives in PVC can be released from PVC products when they are used or handled by consumers. PVC products also release toxic fumes if they catch fire.
The vast majority of PVC manufactured is used in the production of building materials, however it’s also used in many other consumer products such as children’s toys, baby’s shampoo bottles, office supplies and packaging and thousands of other products, including medical products.
A Persistent Threat
PVC harms all who come in contact with it — from workers making the products, communities located near PVC manufacturing plants, and consumers purchasing them, and to those living near landfills and incinerators where the products are discarded.
- Health threats from PVC additives
- How they harm
- A public health menace surrounding us
- How to avoid PVC