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Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl Chloride is a flammable gas that is used to make Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is used to make various types of plastics, such as PVC piping, automobile parts, furniture, wire and other items. Vinyl chloride can also result from the breakdown or deterioration of other chemical substances. The manufacturing, use and disposal of Vinyl Chloride releases chlorine based chemicals that get into the air, water, and food chain. Vinyl Chloride can get into the air from the outgas or "fogging" from new plastic parts, such as the so called, "new car smell". It can contaminate drinking water from the leakage of chemical waste sites, landfills or from contact with polyvinyl chloride pipes (PVC pipes) used in plumbing.

Chronic exposure through the work place may result in "vinyl chloride disease". The symptoms may include poor circulation and bone changes in fingers, changes in blood, skin and lung function or liver damage. Vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen in humans and inhalation of vinyl chloride has been shown to increase the risk of various cancers, such as liver, brain and lung cancer and cancer of the digestive systems.

    FACT: The use of PVC in construction (the largest overall use of PVC) doubled between 1980 and 1995.1

    FACT: PVC production is the largest and fastest-growing use of chlorine -- accounting for nearly 40 percent of all chlorine used in the United States.1

    FACT: The manufacture of PVC and PVDC (polyvinylidene chloride, a close relative of PVC) also creates and disperses dioxins, which include the most toxic man-made chemical known. In addition, PVC is far less recyclable than other plastics.2

Sources:

1 Green Peace USA -
http://www.greenpeaceusa.org/media/factsheets/poisonplastictext.htm

2 Healthy Child -
 http://www.healthychild.org/easy-steps/reduce-your-use-of-pvc-in-plastics-and-other-household-products/
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Last updated 6-8-2016

 

 

 

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