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Dangers in Making PVC

Home | Dangers in Making PVC

PVC, commonly known as vinyl, is used in a variety of common consumer products. What buyers may not be aware of is that no other plastic poses such direct environmental and human health risks as PVC. The problems start at the production site.

Click here for a graphic of PVC hazardous production.

In their own words: Residents speak about life next to PVC production sites in Louisiana, USA
The state of Louisiana in the United States is home to half the PVC production facilities in the USA. Studies by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry tested blood samples from 28 residents in Mossville for dioxin, a known human carcinogen and the most dangerous toxic known to science. The results proved what residents have known for years -- the people of Mossville, Louisiana are being poisoned. The average Mossville resident has three times more dioxin in her/her blood than the average U.S. citizen.
environmental poisoning from PVC production - (Part I) - hits:7604 | Last modified: July 20 2005
From local residents near a PVC plant in Louisiana, USA
environmental poisoning from PVC production (Part II) - hits:5268 | Last modified: July 20 2005
Also from local residents near a PVC plant in Louisiana, USA
a worker tells his story (Part III) - hits:5179 | Last modified: July 20 2005
The testimony of a PVC industry worker is contrasted with that of someone who is teaching children about PVC in a classroom.
accidents in the community (Part IV) - hits:4651 | Last modified: August 30 2005
Industry spin about accidents is compared with testimony from residents who were never notified about an accident in their community.
Reports and Fact Sheets
Dioxin and PCB Contamination in Mossville, Louisiana: - hits:6497 | Last modified: September 08 2005 | opens in new window
A Review of the Exposure Investigation by ATSDR [pdf] By Pat Costner of Greenpeace.
Dioxin Factories Exposed. - hits:4788 | Last modified: September 08 2005
Results of secret sampling undertaken by Greenpeace USA at a VCM plant in 1994 and 1996
Environmental Impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride Building Materials - hits:9830 | Last modified: September 09 2005
Learn more about why PVC is inherently hazardous including its relation to dioxin formation. [pdf] by Joe Thornton, Ph.D.
Update on the Environmental Health Impacts of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) as a Building Material: - hits:8973 | Last modified: September 09 2005
Evidence from 2000-2004 - a commentary for the U.S. Green Building Council [pdf] - by Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D
The PVC Fact Pack - hits:9464 | Last modified: September 08 2005
These series of ten factsheets written over a decade ago are still a good summary of PVC production hazards.
Resilient Floor Covering Institute, and Tarkett, Inc. v. New York State Department Of Environment - hits:6825 | Last modified: September 09 2005
Judith Schreiber, Ph.D. gives testimony about the risks involved in PVC and it's associated production, additives, use, disposal, incineration, and accidental fires. She examines advisories, recommendations and findings of various regulatory bodies and gives examples of alternatives to PVC.
Taking Back Our Stolen Future - hits:8116 | Last modified: September 08 2005
This report discusses why ending the production of PVC will dramatically reduce hormone disrupting chemicals from entering the environment. A list of PVC producers in the USA and Europe is also given.
Formosa Plastics - hits:9442 | Last modified: November 17 2005
A briefing paper on waste, safety and financial issues including US campaign finance abuses both in the U.S. and overseas, Formosa's operations have posed a massive environmenta and health threats. Formosa Plastics USA generates over 195 milion pounds per year of toxic waste and the company has faced community opposition in many countries. By Sanford Lewis, 1999.
Birds of Prey - hits:5202 | Last modified: November 17 2005
by Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 2001. This report details the effects of living next door to three PVC facilitites in Louisiana: Conoco, Condea Vista and PPG. With testimonies by community members.
Environmental Impact in Communities Adjacent to PVC Production Facilities - hits:9324 | Last modified: November 17 2005
by Wilma Subra, 2002. Read about the amount of vinyl chloride emissions and other hazardous chemicals released into the surrounding community.
New Report: PVC Plant Polluting Local Waterway with Toxic Chemicals - hits:6538 | Last modified: December 03 2007
A new report reveals that a PVC plant in India is contributing to the widespread contamination of the local environment with mercury and a host of toxic chlorinated chemicals including dioxins and furans.
Resources on PVC Production Dangers
PVC: A major environmental health disaster - hits:6139 | Last modified: July 20 2005 | opens in new window
In the US, PVC is manufactured predominantly near low-income communities in Texas and Louisiana. Read more about the impacts of production here. [offsite]
Trade Secrets - A PBS subsite - hits:5393 | Last modified: July 20 2005
The chemical industry kept secret vital information about potential health effects related to some of its manufacturing processes and their products. This PBS subsite also offers an in-depth video for sale, but the transcript is available on the site at no cost. [offsite]
My House is Your House - hits:8805 | Last modified: September 10 2005
Inspired by the movie BLUE VINYL, this site puts knowledge and consumer power to use in the fight against pvc production and the search for alternative building materials. [offsite]
Greenpeace International - hits:15796 | Last modified: September 16 2005
Just type PVC or VINYL in the search engine to find a large range of resources and archived reports. Also explore the different Greenpeace websites in other countries (and other languages) for regional PVC information.
More Resources
Good links to good sites
INDIA: Tamil Nadu campaign against proposed PVC plant - hits:6342 | Last modified: July 22 2007 | opens in new window
A global alliance of 500 organizations from 77 countries are supporting a network of Indian groups against a proposed PVC facility.
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