Right on Target: Avoiding PVC

Major retailers are pledging to reduce PVC in their stores.


| March/April 2008


The Bad News

Commonly known as vinyl, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is an environmental health hazard. Prevalent in toys, shower curtains and packaging, PVC often contains toxic lead and phthalates (additives that make plastic more flexible). Young children who put PVC toys in their mouths are especially vulnerable to the chemicals. Outgasing from a single vinyl shower curtain can raise a home’s toxic indoor-air concentrations for more than a month, according to a 2002 study.

Dioxin, a known human carcinogen, is created during PVC manufacturing and when PVC is incinerated. Almost none of the plastic is recyclable.



The Good News







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