Is PVC Safe? The Vinyl Debate


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PVC poll resultsWe recently posted a poll on our website asking you, “Do you try to avoid using vinyl in your home?” Forty-two percent of responders answered, “Yes, whenever I can,” while 40 percent of responders answered, “No – what’s wrong with vinyl?” For those of you who haven’t been introduced to the vinyl debate, here’s some information on the history and pros and cons of vinyl.

What is polyvinyl chloride? 

Polyvinyl chloride is more often referred to by its less-technical names, PVC and vinyl. Most often used in construction, PVC is a plastic composed of three elements: carbon, hydrogen and chlorine. You’ve probably heard of PVC piping, but PVC appears in other surprising places such as shower curtains and electrical wires. PVC plastics are number 3 recyclables, so if you’re wondering whether one of your products contains vinyl, look for a “3” somewhere on the product or packaging.

A more in-depth look at PVC is available in Healthy Building Network’s Sorting Out the Vinyls. 

Should I be concerned about using PVC in my home? 

Varying opinions exist on this subject. Over the course of the last few decades, environmental groups such as Greenpeace have been quick to bash PVC. Greenpeace’s stance is rooted in the idea that PVC in every stage – from production to disposal – is dangerous. PVC supporters have fought back, pointing to research that suggests that the vinyl controversy is nothing more than hype.

5/25/2020 4:56:40 PM

Any harmful effects to Mother Earth and her inhabitants whether it be during stages of production of PVC/Vinyl, or after production, to the disposal of it is unacceptable. We as the producers and consumers must make a stand and do our part to phase it out no matter how affordable it is. This goes for a lot of man-made materials that we have grown accustomed to using blindly. Truth is coming out on many harmful substances. Many have been unaware of the harmful effects. We blindly trusted the producers of materials. We saw that they were affordable, the usability traits sold us. Many never do the research on materials prior to buying. Sad that the producers/creators/sellers of these harmful materials/substances didn't stop when the first sign of toxins appeared.

7/14/2019 9:15:52 AM

Any thoughts on using used billboard vinyl signs as tarps in agriculture and gardening?

John Brown
10/25/2018 9:10:02 AM

Yes, it is true that PVC has some toxic characteristics. Though it is an affordable choice for home interior decorations. I have chosen PVC for interior plastic wall paneling( It has an easy installation process. I consider PVC as one of the best green building materials. It is reusable, water-resistant, termite resistant plastic product.

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