No Polyvinylchloride. PVC or vinyl is a common soft plastic that has been banned from construction in Europe. PVC manufacturing is toxic and it does not recycle well. We use superior alternatives for windows, flooring, plumbing and siding. The world is facing a waste crisis from PVC. Short-life PVC products, disposed of within a few years, have caused serious PVC waste problems, especially when incinerated. The average life span of the durable products -which make up more than half of PVC consumption – is around 34 years.
Unlike the many plastics made without chlorine, PVC poses serious environmental health threats from the start. The production of PVC requires the manufacture of raw chemicals, including highly polluting chlorine, and cancer-causing vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and ethylene dichloride (EDC). Communities surrounding U.S. vinyl chloride chemical facilities, half of which are in Louisiana, suffer from serious toxic chemical pollution of their groundwater supplies, surface waters and air. Residents of the town of Mossville, Louisiana had dioxin levels in their blood that were three times higher than normal. PVC plastic also requires large amounts of toxic additives to make it stable and usable. These additives are released during the use (and disposal) of PVC products, resulting in elevated human exposures to phthalates, lead, cadmium, tin and other toxic chemicals. Dioxin emissions from PVC combustion occur regularly due to the 1 million annual fires that burn buildings and vehicles, two sectors that use substantial amounts of PVC.
Health and / or Social Benefits
Flexible plastics that emit plasticizers have been associated with increased risks of respiratory and allergic health effects in children. Most research into effects of residential exposures on respiratory health has focused on allergens, moisture/mold, endotoxin, or combustion products. A growing body of research from outside the U.S., however, has associated chemical emissions from common indoor materials with risk of asthma, allergies, and pulmonary infections. Risk factors identified most frequently included phthalates or plastic materials. Higher concentration of specific phthalate plasticizers (measured in dust rather than air due to relatively low volatility), or the presence of plasticizer-containing surface materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl, were associated with: Increased asthma, bronchial obstruction wheeze, both cough and phlegm, allergy, and both rhinitis and eczema.
Your home will have a higher resell value if you ever consider selling it because it was built without the use of PVC products and this can be listed as a selling point. Increasing IAQ by getting rid of PVC products in your home reduces sickness and increases concentration and focus so that people will become more productive in their lives and jobs. If we stop using PVC in our building materials we can lower the environmental cost to clean up the chemical pollution in our air, land and water.