Vinyl Chloride

Found In

Pipes and building materials; wall, window and floor coverings; wire coatings; vehicle upholstery; furniture fabrics; shower curtains and other household goods; baby products; toys; backpacks; clothing; pet products.

Health Effects

Production releases toxic pollutants linked to cancer, birth defects, learning and developmental problems. Toxic additives in products (heavy metals, phthalates) associated with reproductive and developmental problems.

More Details

Vinyl chloride (used to manufacture polyvinyl chloride, PVC) is one of the highest production volume chemicals in the world and is used to make PVC infant and children’s toys, pipes, wire coatings, vehicle upholstery, wall coverings, flooring and various household goods. PVC is considered to be toxic throughout its lifecycle. The production of PVC contaminates workers and communities through the releases of pollutants such as vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, mercury, dioxins and furans, and PCBs, linked to cancer, birth defects and other serious health effects. In addition, PVC products expose consumers to harmful chemical additives such as phthalates, lead, cadmium and organotins. The use of vinyl chloride in baby cots and toys was reported to Washington State as a component of plastic resin and for coloration in surface coatings, synthetic polymers and inks/dyes.[i] The eventual disposal of PVC is a significant source of dioxins and furans, considered to be among the most toxic chemicals on the planet.


1.          Washington Department of Ecology, Children’s Safe Products Act reporting data for 2016-2017.