Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is found in an astonishing array of everyday items – home siding, school supplies, car interiors, medical tubing, and many more common products – but when PVC production produces dioxins, the most toxic substances in the world and a known cause of cancer.
The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics singles out companies, like Nokia, that have stopped using PVC in the production of their goods, but it’s not only electronics producers that are moving away from the deadly plastic. Microsoft, Honda, Walmart, Target and Nike have all started shifting production away from PVC.
A representative from the Vinyl Institute, an industry trade group, thinks that the move away from PVC is a mistake, and that no one will find a plastic better than PVC. With more and more consumers becoming aware of the hazards of PVC, we think most companies will settle for something not quite as sturdy but infinitely less toxic.
You can tell if a product was made from PVC if you look for the number 3 or the letter V inside the recycling triangle. (Check out Greenpeace’s list of common products that contain PVC.) PVC products also tend to have a strong smell (like that vinyl shower curtain scent).
The good news is that some companies have pledged to be PVC-free. Here’s a list of 21 popular companies that don’t use PVC:
- L.L. Bean
- Land’s End
- Trek Bikes
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Sony Ericsson
- Saran Wrap
For more information and a more complete list, check out The Center for Environmental Health and Justice’s Guide to Living in a PVC-Free Home.