Regarding the May 15, Page 6 letter titled “Scientific Evidence shows PVC hazards” from Michael Schade of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice:
In a month where even the green-oriented European Union gives plasticizers a clean evaluation after 10 years of study, you print a letter from one of the more extreme anti-everything groups, founded by Lois Hill of Love Canal fame. To this group, anything chemical is bad, especially PVC. They are certainly not a reliable source of “scientific evidence,” and they cite only one study, which has itself been discredited by unbiased scientific studies. If you like, these are available from industry sources that you must have access to.
It seems to me that any negative comments in the form of letters to the editor always get play in Plastics News, especially if it relates to PVC. This letter fits the pattern.
Where are the articles promoting PVC? This product, one of the most widely used throughout the world, certainly has positive aspects that a newspaper like yours should present. I haven't seen any evaluations and responses, in your publication, from groups like the Vinyl Institute or the Phthalate Ester Panel, which have valid scientific studies from independent sources to counter Mr. Schade's contention that, “PVC is the worst plastic for the environment and our health.” For this he also cites Eliot Spitzer's New York attorney general's office as an expert authority. Spitzer may be a successful political operator, but he and his office are not a credible scientific source. Given the politics of New York state, it would not be surprising to find that groups like the Center for Health, Environment and Justice have friends in the state government.
It seems to me the role of Plastics News should be to identify who the critics are and evaluate their sources, before presenting their ideas, even in letters to the Mailbag. Please, let's have some balance in the “International Newspaper for the Plastics Industry.”
John P. Dellevigne
HPG International Inc.