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PVC Products and non-PVC alternatives

Home | PVC Products and non-PVC alternatives

PVC or vinyl as it is commonly called is used in a variety of common consumer products such as children’s clothing and toys, fake leather bags, inflatable pools, garden hoses, disposable medical products -- in fact anywhere you see the label “3” on the bottom of a plastic product. The vast majority of vinyl is used in building products such as vinyl siding, roofs, PVC pipes, windows and flooring. There is no other plastic that poses such direct environmental and human health risks as PVC throughout its entire product lifecycle.


The good news is, there are safer alternatives for all PVC uses and communities and companies are successfully phasing out PVC use. Architectural firms, governments and major corporations ranging from Nike, Mattel and Lego to GM, VW and Honda have begun the switch to alternative materials. San Francisco and New York State have banned PVC pipe. An increasing number of major projects, from the U.S. EPA headquarters in Washington, DC to the 2000 Olympic village in Sydney, Australia, have vastly reduced or completely eliminated use of PVC. More government agencies are eliminating it from wiring, flooring and other applications, including the US Navy, Air Force and NASA.

Children's Products
Lead and Cadmium in Children’s Vinyl Products - hits:4832 | Last modified: September 09 2005 | opens in new window
A Greenpeace investigation revealed the presence of hazardous levels of lead and cadmium in a variety of vinyl consumer products, including items specifically designed and marketed for children. Read more about it here.
Finding Chemo - hits:4155 | Last modified: September 09 2005
An analysis of hazardous chemicals and PVC in Disney children's clothing (2005)
Baby Toys - hits:3817 | Last modified: September 09 2005
In July 2005 the European Union banned the use of six main phthalates in all children's toys. 90% of all phthalates are used solely in PVC plastic. The decision is a result of five years campaigning to have these hormone disrupting chemicals removed from babies'immediate exposure. This site will also take you to recent analysis of other children's clothing and toys.
A Review of the Availability of Plastic Substitutes for Soft PVC in Toys - hits:45019 | Last modified: September 09 2005
by J Tickner (1999)
The Right Start: The Need to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals from Baby Products - hits:2957 | Last modified: May 29 2006
The Right Start: The Need to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals from Baby Products *Toxic chemicals can be found in common baby products, according to a new report released by U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The Right Start: The Need to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals from Baby Products documents toxic chemicals, including phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in teethers, bath books, and sleep accessories.
PVC-free Medical products
Health Care Without Harm - hits:4451 | Last modified: July 10 2006 | opens in new window
An indepth resource for alternatives to PVC-free medical equipment and products
Reports and Fact Sheets
healthy homes - healthy communities - the healthy habitat: a report - hits:3411 | Last modified: February 07 2007 | opens in new window
The goal of this project was to build an affordable PVC-free house within a typical Habitat budget less than $60,000. To document the construction, produced a short video and report on lessons learned and ways to build additional PVC-free homes.
This Vinyl House - a GreenPeace report - hits:3977 | Last modified: August 29 2007
...Construction materials... account for 76% of PVC use. Although the most direct exposure of children to hazardous additives maybe expected from toys and child-care items, the wide variety of other vinyl products in the home may also act as significant sources of exposure.
GreenPeace Green Guide to Electronics - hits:2229 | Last modified: September 06 2007
The fourth edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics is out now. Apple moves up as a result of Steve Job's "Greener Apple" pledge to phase out PVC and other chemicals from their product line. But Nokia is on top because they've already phased out PVC, and met or exceeded a wide set of benchmarks we've laid down to reduce the amount and toxicity of electronic waste piling up in Asia and Africa. Download report from this page.
Cars
Clean Car Campaign - hits:3162 | Last modified: September 16 2005 | opens in new window
Many car manufacturers are phasing out PVC use. Find out which companies are moving to safer materials.
Toxic at Any Speed: - hits:2458 | Last modified: January 26 2006
Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives -- A first-of-its-kind study released by the Ecology Center reveals new information about toxic chemical exposure in automobile interiors. PBDEs, used as fire retardants, and phthalates, used primarily to soften PVC plastics (and partly responsible for "new car smell"), were found in dangerous amounts in dust and windshield film samples. This report can be downloaded at the link above.
Packaging
BE SAFE - hits:5008 | Last modified: January 26 2006 | opens in new window
This US-based network of grassroots groups campaign for PVC and dioxin phase-outs. A good resource for dioxin and health updates. Has ongoing campaigns to target PVC phase outs.
Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse - hits:2333 | Last modified: September 06 2007
TPCH Releases Groundbreaking Report - An Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging: Screening Results Using a Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer. Download it from the home page of this site.
Electronics
The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics - hits:3128 | Last modified: July 22 2007 | opens in new window
This guide ranks companies on their plans to phase out hazardous chemicals and PVC as well as their take-back policies for e-waste.
How communitites are phasing out PVC
Economics of Phasing Out PVC - hits:5640 | Last modified: September 10 2005 | opens in new window
[pdf]by F. Ackerman and R. Massey of Tufts University (2003) This analysis of past models and current predictions of the phase out costs and benefits to workers and manufacturers of PVC-free alternatives.
Greenpeace database - hits:2974 | Last modified: September 10 2005
This database (2003) details government and company PVC-phase out achievements.
More Than A Year After Katrina, Eco-Friendly New Orleans House Stands Firm - hits:2603 | Last modified: February 07 2007
...Although we predicted PVC-free cement fiber board siding would last decades longer than vinyl siding no one knew what Katrina might do. Shylia’s house was built to exceed standards set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and New Orleans Area Habitat Director Jim Pate predicted the home’s pilings would keep the house intact even in the event of “the big one.” ...
PVC and Buildings
Healthy Building Network - hits:4780 | Last modified: September 10 2005 | opens in new window
This network gives information on a range of PVC-free building materials
Greenpeace building database - hits:3036 | Last modified: September 10 2005
This database lists PVC-free building materials. Do a search for 'PVC building' in the general greenpeace website for stories of local PVC free use.
My House is Your House - hits:5522 | 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]
Building Green Without Going In The Red - hits:3496 | Last modified: September 09 2005
A Household Guide to Healthy, Affordable Building Materials [pdf] by K Curtis and R Chase
More Resources
Good links to good sites
Safer Products Project - hits:4152 | Last modified: September 10 2005 | opens in new window
See how PVC use is associated with hazardous chemicals in common house dust. The website gives many resources.
Articles
Banned Elsewhere, Compounds Still Used in U.S. - hits:4036 | Last modified: October 09 2006 | opens in new window
Although chemical bans overseas have prompted some manufacturers to reformulate all their products worldwide, many toys and cosmetics are exceptions.
Knocking Out Toxics: - hits:3929 | Last modified: December 23 2006
Why Companies Are Being Pressed to Use Safer Chemicals
   
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