Allan Griff's assertion (“PVC myths going mainstream,” Mailbag, April 3, Page 6) that PVC's hazards are a myth ignores the mounting scientific evidence that PVC is the worst plastic for the environment and our health.
According to the New York attorney general's office, “Vinyl chloride, the building block of PVC plastic, is a known human carcinogen, and it may pose health risks to workers who manufacture the material. Also, PVC plastic can produce hazardous chemicals when burned in garbage incinerators and backyard burn barrels. PVC poses serious risks of chemical exposure to firefighters battling blazes in buildings that have PVC building products.”
Every year, more and more scientific studies prove this to be true. A study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal in August demonstrated for the first time a strong link between a mother's exposure during pregnancy to phthalates and adverse effects on the male reproductive system.
These changes were seen at phthalate levels below those found in one-quarter of the female population of the United States.
Vinyl accounts for more than 90 percent of the total consumption of phthalates, which can make up a large portion — up to 60 percent by weight — of a PVC product.
In response to the growing scientific evidence documenting PVC hazards, leading companies such as Microsoft, Nike and Wal-Mart are phasing out PVC in favor of safe alternatives. Claiming that PVC is an environmentally friendly material is unsubstantiated by the scientific literature and a sham.
Center for Health, Environment and Justice