Vinyl use charges
Since VCM is released during the vinyl production process, some may erroneously believe the carcinogen remains after the material is created. However, VCM gas is chemically transformed into solid PVC—a compound that does not revert to its previous state.9
Likewise, the notion vinyl emits other carcinogenic chemicals into the indoor environment, affecting indoor air quality (IAQ), is incorrect.
Since PVC is a stable compound, it can only give off potentially toxic levels of dioxin when burned at low temperatures (such as those found in a wildfire), or heated to near-combustion levels.10 Granted, a building fire could bring forth dioxins, but virtually all building materials emit toxins when burned.
Many forms of vinyl contain plasticizers (including phthalates) for increased pliability, and these substances migrate/emit out of the matrix over long periods. However, the majority of claims citing plasticizers’ toxicity is based on research conducted on rats repeatedly exposed to the substance until they developed cancer.
To produce the same carcinogenic effect in humans, a person would need to daily ingest 500 g (17.6 oz) of the plasticizer for 100 days-far more than what is found in typical installation.11
When the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted its own toxicity study, the group concluded the risk to humans was low.12