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Blog/Opinion: Is PVC harmful?

By HHI Staff

PVC has definite issues but with 80,000 or so total chemicals in legal use, and with it all mixing in the environment (‘better living through chemistry’?) it is hard to establish causality or a singular ‘smoking gun’.


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Still prudent avoidance makes sense, but you will not be able to completely avoid PVC since it has been so commonly produced. Our recommendation is to use good ventilation in your home, car and elsewhere to avoid inhaling what’s offgassing from vinyl, treated leather and/or other materials.

Still, re: IAQ, time is on your side as PVC outgasses progressively with diminishing exposure risks from older “outgassed” PVC.

The plasticizers (softeners) in PVC contain phthalates, as do other products. There is also concern about the micro-particles breaking down and being ingested or inhaled.

See also and

Now, we just need to stay at home with the blankets pulled over our heads and never leave the house – Oops, that comfy blanket may contain unwanted chemicals in the fire retardant :(

The Moral? Life and Living involves some risk – be careful but don’t get carried away.


Yes, we believe in not using harmful products where avoidable, but fanaticism does not solve the problem.



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The Healthy House Institute (HHI), a for-profit educational LLC, provides the information on as a free service to the public. The intent is to disseminate accurate, verified and science-based information on creating healthy home environments.


While an effort is made to ensure the quality of the content and credibility of sources listed on this site, HHI provides no warranty - expressed or implied - and assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed on or in conjunction with the site. The views and opinions of the authors or originators expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of HHI: its principals, executives, Board members, advisors or affiliates.

(Note: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of The Healthy House Institute, LLC.)

Is PVC harmful?:  Created on February 24th, 2014.  Last Modified on February 24th, 2014


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