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PVC Packaging Found to Contain Toxic Metals

09.30.09 PVC Packaging Found to Contain Toxic Metals

Yikes! I received this press release from the Center for Health and Environment and learned that PVC packaging is likely to contain lead and other heavy metals harmful to our children's health.

I've known for a long time that PVC (aka the poison plastic) is toxic, but carrying lead and chromium that comes in direct contact with our food, toys and personal products? I shouldn't be surprised, with our country's lack of toxic chemical regulation and putting the interest of corporations ahead of children's health. PVC is also known as vinyl, and is toxic in its production and use.  According to CHEJ: "PVC (polyvinyl chloride) products are everywhere and are dangerous to our health and environment from start to finish - in the factory, at home, and in the trash - releasing poisonous chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects.

According to the release, "The report, An Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging: 2009 Update tested over 400 packaging samples with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fifty‐two percent of flexible PVC packaging was found to contain lead or cadmium, violating laws in 19 states across the country. “The widespread adoption of sustainable packaging practices is an important step in the greening of America. But this new report reminds us of how much of the packaging we bring into our homes is toxic to our health,” said Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator at the Center for Health, Environment & Justice. “With the holidays approaching, families across America will see an influx of PVC clamshell packaging that will put toxic lead and cadmium under the Christmas tree.”

With the consistent urging of the CHEJ and other groups, major retailers like Target, Walmart and Sears have developed PVC phase out plans. It's time other retailers joined in to recall the tainted packaging, and pledge to get toxic PVC out of products for children and families.

What can you do? 

*avoid packaging labeled with the number "3" or letter "v" inside or underneath the universal recycling symbol.  "Just remember - bad news comes in 3's, don't buy PVC!"

*encourage retailers to develop a plan to phase out PVC

*support the Kid Safe Chemical Act and reforming the outdated model of chemical regulation in America





Posted in: PVC, Packaging
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