Environmentally Friendly

Since it enacted its air toxins rule in 1976, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports the nation’s overall VCM emissions into the environment were cut by 362.9 t (400 tons) per year for a decade,4 resulting in a lifetime distribution cancer risk to less than one in a million persons, per EPA risk characterizations.5
Similar claims about the emission of harmful levels of dioxin have likewise proven to be either outdated or unfounded. Since EPA controls and regulations were enacted in the 1970s, dioxin levels in the environment have decreased significantly-from 1987 to 1995, emissions dropped by 80 percent. As a result of these improved controls, household fireplaces and vehicle exhaust each account for more dioxin emissions than vinyl manufacturing (whose annual emissions need only be measured in grams).6

U.S. environmental regulations have been emulated in Europe and Japan, where strict emissions controls are also mandated to protect the safety of the environment and vinyl plant workers.7

According to the European Commission’s (EC’s) 2004 report, Life-cycle Assessment of pvc and of Principal Competing Materials, “VCM emissions during polymerization can be minimized most effectively by installing so-called ‘close-lid operations’ or in other words … a closed loop production process. Most modern processes apply this technique.” 8

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