October 2010

How to Get Your School to Go PVC-Free

When I first read about toxic polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, I started purging my home of whatever I could find—from coated paperclips to our garden hose. I quickly realized that it’s nearly impossible to get rid of it altogether, and that our nation is pretty much built on the back of this harmful material.

The thing is, for the most part, we don’t need it. There are plenty of other things for us to use for storage, binding, and most other needs—as well as other materials for similar items. The phthalates found in PVC have been linked to asthma in children (which is also the leading cause of kids missing school, ironically, since schools are one of the places where PVC is found the most), and the materials leached from PVC—dioxin, mercury, and lead—are some of the most harmful substances known to man.