Anti-PVC campaign gets rolling

A coalition of environmental and public-health groups this week kicked off a new campaign to discourage the purchase of products containing polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which they argue is harmful to health and the environment. A report compiled by two of the groups concluded there is no safe way to dispose of PVC, a material often used in disposable packaging. Called “poison plastics” by the advocacy groups, PVC forms cancer-causing dioxins when incinerated and leaches harmful chemicals into groundwater when put in a landfill, but is not practical for recycling. Often clear and marked with a 3 or V, polyvinyl chloride is found in items ranging from shampoo bottles and Saran Wrap to construction materials; it’s also responsible for the new car smell. The vinyl industry — surprise, surprise — denied all the charges, calling them “bogus.”