Environment & PVC

Vinyl is made from two components: Chlorine, which is derived from common salt and Ethylene from natural gas. Adding further chemistry, vinyl can be made flexible, rigid, semi-liquid, clear, colorful, thick, or thin – making it the most useful synthetic material.

The vinyl industry achieved significant progress in improving vinyl’s environmental, health and safety performance. Let’s take a look at these achievements:


  • PVC takes less energy to produce, apply, and transport
  • PVC generates fewer emissions
  • PVC requires fewer natural resources
  • PVC reduces CO2 emissions
  • PVC saves fossil fuels
  • Raw PVC is made up of nearly 60% chlorine derived from common salt
  • PVC’s resilience translates to conserving resources
  • PVC is recyclable (visit the Vinyl Institute for directory of Recyclers)
  • PVC is resistant to weathering, rotting, and chemical corrosion. In fact, PVC is the most used polymer in medical applications
  • PVC reduces contamination.

 What about Dioxin?

PVC’s contribution to Dioxin is so small that the levels in the environment would be unchanged even if the vinyl is or was never produced. In fact, Dioxin levels in the environment have been decreasing for decades while the production and use of vinyl have soared.

Work safety:

Since industry scientist’s discovered in 1970’s that vinyl chloride, could cause angiosarcoma a rare form of liver cancer in workers exposed in very high doses, a complete revamp of the PVC production process has taken place which closed the loops by recycling wastes back into production and minimizing worker exposure. With the revamping and the 1975 strict regulation from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there have been no documented cases of angiosarcoma among PVC production workers.

Benefits in using PVC

  • Modern architecture makes PVC’s versatility essential. PVC is used in new building and construction projects as well as refurbishing where it replaces traditional material such as metal and woods.
  • PVC’s scratch resistance, light weight, and strength are key components in building and construction application
  • PVC is easy to install, cut, shaped, welded and joined in a variety of styles
  • In addition to the durability, lifespan, and low maintenance of PVC, cost is very competitive in terms of initial cost.


For more information, please visit the Vinyl Institute

See video