Big-box store Target is right on the mark with plans to phase out nasty plastic polyvinyl chloride. The store that we like to pronounce “Tar-zhay” has announced that it will aim to detox the packaging of its table linen stock by spring and try to find PVC alternatives for all toys by next fall. It also said all of its own brands of children’s lunch boxes and utensils are already PVC-free. The reasons to avoid PVC — the ickiest of plastics and, unfortunately, one of the most common — are legion. For one, the “VC” in PVC is vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. For two, PVC is often made more flexible with phthalates, which are linked to reproductive problems and may be banned in at least nine states. For three, vinyl products may contain lead, the recall-reason du jour. Anti-PVC activist groups have been handing out fliers outside of Target stores for the past year, but a spokesperson says that PVC-reduction efforts predated the picketing.

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