Unfounded charges against PVC continue
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.
Lack of knowledge colors PVC criticism
In his May 15 Mailbag, Michael Schade evidently chose to ignore the fact that phthalates and PVC are not chemically the same. They are not even close in their chemical composition nor effects to the environment.
At a minimum, when making public statements, please use our present chemical knowledge to separate where the problems are rather than contributing to the distribution of false information. I fully realize that when two things are connected by common references it may be difficult to separate their effects. But this is a clear case of phthalates being the culprit and not PVC. If we are to protect our environment, let's at least protect it against the correct materials rather than anything we might feel is the culprit.
As a side comment, rigid PVC materials typically used in the building products industries do not contain any phthalates, and most of them never have.