PVC and My Health

Exposure to PVC is common when dioxins are released into the air usually during the manufacturing process such as burning, landfilling of PVC.

Exposure to PVC and dioxins may cause reproductive development and other health issues so pregnant women should especially be careful.

It also has been suspected of causing problems with the hormones specifically related to the endocrine system.

PVC dust may cause issue with the lungs which could trigger asthma.  You could also have issues with the lining of the throat.  You may experience symptoms similar to acid reflux.

Exposure To PVC

As previously noted, PVC is used to make many things.  Common routes include:  inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion

Ingestion:  Water – If you live on a rural farm for example that has an irrigation system made up of PVC.  It can seep into your ground water, drinking water, and river.

Packaging from dairy and meat products.

If you have small children that play with chewable toys, then the substance can leak out.

Medical Devices:  Occurs when medical devices are inserted into you.  Ex:  Special Tubing, etc.

Inhalation (On the Job Exposure)

Plastics that contain PVC that are heated and melted which can release vapors into the air.  Not wearing proper safety gear can be a hazard.

Common Household products and dust- Common household items including vinyl flooring

Skin

Ink- Print commonly found on plastic, board or foil packed products.

Clothing – Clothing made of plastics including raincoats, jackets, etc.

Personal care – Bar soaps, shampoo and nail polish

If special medical tubes are placed in your body

What is PVC?

Plastics are a staple today.  The material is very versatile and is used in many products.  PVC stands for Polyvinyl chloride.  Plastics are identified under two umbrellas: thermosetting resin and thermoplastic resins.  PVC falls under thermoplastic resins which can be re-softened by heating.

The plastic does not have an odor is generally solid.  It is usually white.  It can come in the form of powder and pellets.  PVC contains high levels of chloride.

Common materials that contain PVC

Pipes

Pipe Fittings

Pipe Conduits

Vinyl Flooring and Sliding

Wire and Cable Coatings

Packaging Materials

Wrapping Film

Gutters

Down Sprouts

Door and Window Frames

Gaskets

Electrical Insulation

Hoses

Sealants

Liners

Paper and Texture Finishes

Thin Sheeting

Roof Membranes

Swimming Pool Liners

Whether Stripping

Flashing

Molding

Irrigation Systems

Containers

Automotive Parts

Floor Mats

When the material is made to bend, it is commonly used in these types of devices.

(Medically)

IV Bags

Blood Bags

Blood and Respiratory Tubing

Feeding Tubes

Catheters

Parts of Dialysis Devices

PVC is also used to make common consumer items such as:  garden hoses, toys, inflatable devices, shoe soles, shelves and blinds, seat covers, shower curtains, furniture, plastic bags