PVC (short for Polyvinyl chloride) is also known as Plastic # 3, Vinyl, V and â€œpoison plasticâ€ and poses many health and ecological threats. Its production involves the use of toxic, cancer-causing chemicals.Â More specifically, it has been identified as the cause of angiosarcoma, a rare form of liver cancer. PVC is also known to damage the liver and central nervous system.
Not only is it bad for our health, but it is also toxic to our environment: when manufactured or burned as a waste material, PVC releases numerous dioxins into the air or water. Also, its manufacturing requires the use of other foes, such as mercury, a potent neurological and reproductive toxin. PVC products usually contain toxic additives such as phthalates, lead and cadmium that can leach into the air and soil. And while many of us think that at least, we do one good thing about PVC when we recycle it, it actually isnâ€™t the case: PVC can ruin the recyclability of other plastics such as PET.
PVC products are very appealing because they are inexpensive, are light, durable and easy to assemble but they are so detrimental we need to go past the advantages and clearly see them for what they are: poison plastic.
So read the packaging carefully; if it says PVC, refrain from buying it. If it doesnâ€™t say anything, research before buying, or opt for a wooden toy. Our precious children deserve healthy, safe toys to play with.
Also, beware of many objects in the house that our children play with and which in spite of their innocent looks, may be toxic to little mouths and noses: raingear, shoes, backpacks, toys, modeling clays, strollers, fake Christmas trees, credit cards, electronics, flooring, carpet padding, shutters, food wrap, lunchboxes, inflatable mattresses, colored paper clips, 3-ring binders, drinking containers, shower curtains and liners, cellular phonesâ€¦ all conventionally made with PVC.
Very unfortunately and outrageously, some stroller parts are made with PVC and, with the exception of rain covers, there are no existing alternatives. If we all voice our discontentment, we will make progress and stop the use of carcinogenic and toxic materials in childrenâ€™s products.Â Contacting companies like MBDC who care about the environment and try to implement eco-effective design principles might help too. For inspiration, Lois Gibbs, founder of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, was able to convince giant Microsoft to phase out the use of PVC packaging.Â Â
Further Reading and Links:
The Soft Landing offersÂ BPA and PVC free bath toys and more.
About: Lois Gibbs