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pvc: A dire miscellany

The first item was among several that prompted anger this morning, so I
did some searching about PVC.  A sampling of PVC studies follows the AP
news item.


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California builders win long fight to use plastic water piping
    Associated Press
SACRAMENTO - California homebuilders on Monday won the right to use
less-expensive plastic water piping instead of copper, ending a
two-decade-long battle against groups that warned of plastic's potential
health hazards...

Hidden Hazards: Health Impacts of Toxins in Polymer Clays.
Popular polymer clays used by children for modeling contain a mixture of
chemicals that are linked to a wide range of health problems. Polymer
clays are a form of modeling clay that have become popular in recent years
among children. Unfortunately, these clays contain polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) mixed with phthalate plasticizers. Children and adults using polymer
clays may be exposed to phthalates at harmful levels, even when clays are
prepared following proper package directions. And when polymer clay is
overheated enough or accidentally burned, the PVC will break down and
release highly toxic hydrochloric acid gas.
Published by Vermont Public Interest Research Group. 15 July 2002

Major input from industry into the EPA's assessment of the toxicological
effects of vinyl chloride weakened public health safeguards. The
assessment downplayed risks from all cancer sites other than liver, and it
reduced by 10-fold cancer potency estimates. The results illustrate flaws
in EPA's trend toward increasing collaboration with regulated industries
when generating scientific reviews and risk assessments. EHP. 26 March

Critiques of the Precautionary Principle.
With precautionary policies gaining traction in several venues, including
Europe and California, the chemical industry is stepping up its criticisms
of the Precautionary Principle. This report examines some of the common
critiques made of the Precautionary Principle.
Published by Rachel's Environment and Health News. 6 December 2003.

Contaminated: the next generation.
Children as young as nine years old are not only contaminated with a
cocktail of hazardous man-made chemicals but can have higher
concentrations of certain newer chemicals than older generations. Of the
104 chemicals analysed, 80 were detected - children were found to have 75
chemicals in their blood, 75 were found in parents and 56 in grandmothers.
Published by World Wildlife Fund - UK, United Kingdom. 10 October 2004.

State of the evidence 2004: what is the connection between the environment
and breast cancer?
Scientific evidence indicates that multiple and chronic exposures are
contributing to the epidemic of breast cancer affecting US women today.
Contaminants implicated include common chemicals often occurring in the
household, as well as medical products, appliances, cars and rainware.
Published by Breast Cancer Fund, Breast Cancer Action. 7 October 2004.

PVC: Bad News Come in Threes
PVC plastic poses human health threats in its use and in its disposal. The
ubiquitous plastic uses additives that are linked to health hazards and
that are released during use. Disposal by incineration creates dioxins.
And now the US faces a looming waste crisis with an estimated 70 billion
pounds of PVC headed for disposal in the next decade.
Published by Center for Health, Environment & Justice. 8 December 2004.

The risk of adult-onset asthma is more than double for workers employed in
offices with plastic wall-lining. This conclusion emerged from a
case-control study in southern Finland examining the work and home
environment of 521 asthmatics and 932 controls. The researchers suggest
that the association is a result of increased exposure to the phthalate
DEHP in work environments that have used materials containing polyvinyl
chloride, which can be as much as 40% by weight DEHP. 7 November 2006.

Workers exposed to the phthalates DBP and DEHP in an occupational setting
have higher phthalate levels and lower free testosterone levels than
unexposed workers. The workers were employed in a polyvinyl chloride
flooring factory in China. Within the exposed worker group, free
testosterone was inversely correlated with phthalate levels. Environmental
Health Perspectives. 4 November 2006

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