Monday, February 11, 2008

Blue Vinyl Blues

Sunday night I attended a monthly moms' film night. The documentary this month was Blue Vinyl about a daughter's research into poly vinyl chloride (PVC). It was very enlightening as I was aware of the problems with PVC (and phthalates often added to make it flexible) due to all the press coverage lately, but I was unaware of the dangers involved in producing and recycling PVC. Good film that got me thinking even more about PVC... not just about our food containers and toys. The discussion that followed the film made me think of blog post idea after blog post idea after blog post idea!

If you are like me, you may be working to eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) the amount of PVC and other plastics in your home. It can be difficult to know where to start. To make it even more difficult, it isn't always easy to identify what is made out of PVC. Sometimes PVC will be marked with a #3 recycle marker, or it make be marked with a "V" in a circle. The package label may say "vinyl," and PVC also often has that "new plastic smell" when taken out of the package. If you don't know, ask the manufacuter.
A good place to start eliminating PVC is with any children's items that come in contact with mouths - toys, teethers, pacifiers, and food and beverage containers, and avoid vinyl lunch boxes. In your kitchen, avoid PVC containers for storing food. Better yet, avoid or reduce all plastics for food storage. Also be on the lookout for PVC in shower curtains and rainwear.

Many companies are now PVC-free or are making the transition. The list includes Nike, Microsoft, IKEA, H&M, Johnson & Johnson, Crabtree & Evelyn, Timbuk2, and Eco-Gear (the providers of the awesome backpack giveaway that I did a bit ago). PVC-free toy companies include Brio, Lego, Sassy, and Tiny Love. This is not a comprehensive list, so if you know of others, let me know and I'll add them!

I'm planning on doing a follow-up post sometime this week or early next week on all the different plastics and their safety. So be sure check back. In the meantime, here are a bunch of links with more information on PVC.

Target Action - sign a petition asking Target to go PVC-free!


Jen said...

GREAT information...thank you! You mentioned plastic food storage containers. We do A LOT of that (because we ALWAYS have leftovers) and it's been bothering me lately...seriously, we probably have at least 10 plastic storage container in our frig at any given time. I've tried to think of alternatives, although I haven't yet researched it extensively. Do you have any quick suggestions for safer containers for leftovers?

Dawn said...

Great links, thanks for sharing. I'll echo the Jen's request for sharing what you know about food storage alternatives. We've done a pretty good job staying away from PVC in many areas except food storage.

The Cole Mine said...

Thank you for this info...I've been meaning to order some PVC and BPA free pacifiers for Riley since he is such a little suckie bug. I will most definitely check out these links.

Donielle said...

Unfortunately I found out about the whole PVC thing after we built our house last year. Now I wanna change it all! Especially after a post like this!
I try and use glass for most of our food storage. Although I sent my hubby to work with plastic since he never brings home the containers. It's been bugging me more and more though so I may just have to have him 'swear on his lunch' before he leaves. :-)
And thanks for the heads-up on the pvc free companies.

Anna said...

Small World Toys (makes PVC-free teething toys and “Gertie” balls)
Early Start
BRIO Corporation
Tiny Love
APRICA Kassai Incorporated
Lamaze Infant Development
I have been trying to find safe brands, and these are all the ones I have come up with-I haven't been able to find a comprehensive list either!
Little Tikes (Rubbermaid)
Safety First
First Years
Discovery Toy
Turner Toys
Lego Toys
Toys R Us, in