Children have higher exposure levels to PVC and phtalates, studies show.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) wants action to protect the most vulnerable groups in our communities – children, the elderly and the sick.

At a recent meeting in Washington, DC, more than 13,000 public health professionals came together at the annual public meeting and passed a major policy resolution: Reducing PVC in Facilitities with Vulnerable Populations.

The policy resolution urges government officials to consider phasing out flexible PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in building materials, consumer products and office suppliers to

  • Schools
  • Daycare facilities
  • Medical care facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Public housing
  • Special needs facilities
  • And other facilities with vulnerable populations

By passing this resolution, the Association officially recognized the hazards that PVC and phthalates pose to children health in schools and daycare centers, a spokesperson said.

What is PVC?

The plastic PVC is commonly found in building materials (flooring, carpeting, roofing), computers, cell phones, backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, medical devices, and many other products.

A 2011 study found PVC is the most widely used hazardous plastic in the world.

It becomes soft and flexible when chemicals such as phthalates are added, but these are released from PVC products such as vinyl over time and have become substances of concern.

While everyone is exposed to phthalates, the levels tend to be higher in children. Some studies have shown that high concentrations of phthalates may affect hormone levels and cause birth defects.

Many large companies have taken steps to phase out PVC from their product lines and packaging and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently developed a “chemical action plan” for phthalates, over 90% of which are found in PVC products.

Source: Lund Report

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