Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Label PVC plastic as hazardous so that it can be safely handled and disposed of
A legal petition has been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity asking the Environmental Protection Agency to classify PVC as hazardous waste. The material, once used in household plumbing, is one of the most dangerous consumer products ever created. Once it is used, it is thrown away with food scraps and other non-hazardous materials.
If the EPA considered the material hazardous, better regulations for disposal of it would be implemented. A reduction in the amount of toxic materials and plastic trash disposed of would have a positive effect on the pollution and contamination of oceans, marine life and human life worldwide.
Plastic pollution is one of the largest threats to marine life. About 80 percent of litter found in the ocean is made up of plastic waste. Most of it is durable plastic, making it difficult or impossible to break down over time. In the case of PVC, it emits more dangerous chemicals as it continues to break down over time. This makes it more hazardous as time goes on and it sits in oceans. This pollution kills and injures endless numbers of fish, seabirds, turtles, and marine mammals every year.
The biggest dilemma in classifying PVC as hazardous is that the same chemicals making it dangerous are those making it so durable for users. Despite its durability, the consequences of poisoning people and wildlife on huge scales are not worth it. The only way to regulate the dangerous materials in PVC is to restrict the way it’s used and disposed of.
The main component of PVC is vinyl chloride. Vinyl chloride has carcinogenic effects. PVC releases chemicals that have been linked to cancer, diabetes and birth defects in humans. Studies have shown that it harms environmental life and human health, yet it continues to be produced and distributed. Urge Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the EPA, to classify PVC as a hazardous material so it can be properly disposed of.
Dear Ms. Gina McCarthy,
It is concerning and disappointing that your organization continues to allow the production, distribution, and disposal of plastics made with PVC. This toxic material is extremely hazardous to human health and to the environment. It is your responsibility to protect the health and well being of humans and animals by keeping materials like this strictly regulated.
Please consider the ramifications of using vinyl chloride in plastic production. About 80 percent of finished PVC products also contain phthalate plasticizers. These interfere with hormone production and distribution in humans and animals. Phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, causing them to easily slip off the plastic. This leads to contamination in the environment. Please take this into consideration and classify PVC as a hazardous waste so that disposal is safer.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nilsy via Wikimedia Commons