A few weeks ago I wrote my first article highlighting the scary health effects from PVC plastic. Scariest fact from the article is that PVC is a known human carcinogen and has recently been linked to the development of autism. PVC ‘the poison plastic’ is the worst (and unfortunately the most widely used) plastic because it’s not recyclable and it does nothing but produce harmful dioxins from the start of it’s production until it ends up in the incinerator or landfill. Not only is it terrible for the environment, but it has adverse effects to human health and is still used to produce many products that children or babies use in North America. For this reason, I’m trying to bring awareness to household items, toys, etc., made from PVC and hope this article becomes a point of reference for parents so they can identify household items made from PVC plastic. It’s important to note that some companies and countries (Europe) have produced alternatives to PVC, so you need to investigate before pointing fingers or panicking.
I’ve checked with a few ‘environmental experts’ that are within my network (hello Twitter!) and can confidently share that PVC continues to off-gas or ‘leach’ toxins throughout it’s entire existence. When a product made from PVC is first opened from packaging or purchased you notice a strong odor ~ this is a strong clue that it contains PVC. What I’ve learned is just because the odor goes away or lessens, the item is still continuing to leach harmful chemicals. Two ways besides scent to identify items made from PVC is to look for a V or 3 inside or underneath the universal recycling symbols. Of course, toy manufacturers and too smart to stamp V (for vinyl) or 3 (plastic that is not recyclable) with chasing arrows at the bottom of their toys because trust me, I keep looking. Why would they want to tip off consumers that the toy is toxic? Very frustrating. You need to ask questions and if the retailer looks at you confused and can’t answer the question if it’s made from PVC, don’t purchase it.
I first realized the difference in PVC-free rain gear (rain boots, hats, gloves, jackets, pants, etc) last weekend when I stuck my nose into a rack of Puddle Gear products and couldn’t smell any odor and didn’t get my usual headache. The Puddle Gear line is made PVC free and is a sweet new find! When I stand next to traditional rubber boots or rain gear and it contains PVC, I can tell because I get a terrible headache instantly.
On a daily basis I’m finding or thinking about more things in my home that surround my children made from PVC and want to create a master list. I thank the following sites for supplying me with awesome information about PVC, worth a read if you want more information: www.watoxics.org, www.besafe.net, www.pollutioninpeople.org, and a pioneer watch-dog site site that holds companies accountable for producing harmful products www.zrecommends.com.
If you have any items that are not listed below, please add a comment to the bottom of this article and I will edit the post and add the item to this master list. Yikes! With summer quickly approaching – check out the category for outdoor items that are made with PVC – do you want your child sitting in an outdoor pool for hours that is leaching chemicals?
Wall Coverings including wall paper, wall decals for nursery or kid’s rooms
Fake Christmas Trees
Strollers and Car Seats
Labels and Stickers
Photo Album Sheets
Imitation Leather Furniture
Cleaning product containers
Pet care product containers
Modeling Clay (Child Toy)
Shoes / Boots
Bags / Luggage / Diaper Bags / Backpacks with rain protective coating
Rain Gear: boots, jackets, pants, gloves, hats
T-shirts with shiny PVC prints
Children’s Swimming Pools
Greenhouse and Cold Frames
Food Storage Containers
Wire / cable insulation
Appliance housing TV, Video, Stereo, Circuit Cards, White Goods
For more information on PVC read: PVC Plastic ~ The Poison Plastic In Your Home
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