A Nov. 16 article in Plastics News, an industry trade publication, summed up it up best: "There's no way to spin this -- it's bad news for vinyl."Actually, the item that she's quoting is an editorial that ran in our Nov. 19 issue, although it was posted to our Web site on Nov. 16. I think it's important to differentiate editorials from news stories (although at the Post, some might say there's less of a difference). What do you think of Skrzycki's take on vinyl? Feel free to comment here, or click through to see the opinions of Post readers, in the comment section of the column's Web page.
Washington Post on PVC
Washington Post business columnist Cindy Skrzycki weighs in on PVC safety today with this item, "Hazardous or Not, Vinyl Shares Lead's Taint." The story is part of a regular feature that Skrzycki writes called "The Regulators," which concentrates on federal regulations on U.S. business. How does the Post do? Well, the headline is shocking ... comparing vinyl to lead is going to attract attention, but it's a reach. In the column itself, she tries to achieve some balance, with comments both from Greenpeace's Rick Hind and from the American Chemistry Council. She ties in a few recent stories on how Apple and Target have responded to pressure to drop vinyl, along with some context about the debate. This is a complicated issue, and I think in a few places she boils it down too far, at least for readers who don't have sufficient background on the debate. For example, this passage: "Though much of the science is still being debated, activists say PVC causes developmental delays in children..." might be enough to scare someone into ripping the PVC pipe out of their basement. Here's another problem, but it's small -- at the end of the column she quotes us, saying:
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