In an op-ed published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace who is now chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies in Vancouver, disagrees with his former Greenpeace colleagues lobbying against polyvinyl chloride and who now support a California bill that would ban the use of the material.
As the health effects of some products containing PVC and other chemicals are publicly debated, Moore writes that PVC is one of the most sustainable, versatile and cost-effective materials available, adding that Californians will be worse off if the bill is passed.
“The best way to deliver affordable, safe drinking water is through a PVC pipe. The best way to insulate electrical wiring is with a PVC coating. In hospitals, floors and wall coverings use PVC widely. PVC is a durable, cost-effective siding for buildings because of its low maintenance and long life. Building with PVC saves on energy and material costs,” Moore writes.
But a widely publicized report from Greenpeace said recently that an analysis carried out in its own labs detected hazardous chemicals including PVC in Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 Elite and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
And, according to a recent study conducted by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, shower curtains made with PVC contain chemicals that can harm human health, Medical News Today reported. CHEJ has been leading a campaign to rid retailers of products containing PVC.
The studies have not fallen on deaf ears. Sears and Kmart plan to phase out products and packaging containing PVC, and Wal-Mart and Target have made similar pledges. California joined the EU last year in banning phthalates in children’s and infant’s products. A similar ban has been introduced in Congress and in six other states.