Positive Responses to Negative Statements About PVC: Part 6

Statement: “PVC is the largest source of dioxin, the most poisonous chemical on earth.”

The facts: There will always be dioxin present in the environment because the most common sources of dioxin are natural contributors such as forest fires and volcanoes. When it comes to man-made sources, PVC doesn’t even show up on the radar screen.

Dioxin is created during incomplete combustion of any material – even wood burning in a home fireplace. According to the EPA’s inventory of dioxin emission sources, total dioxin emissions dropped from a toxic equivalent (TEQ) of 13,949 grams in 1987 to 1,106 grams in 2004. The top four man-made sources are:

Backyard barrel burning 56%

Land-applied sewage sludge 6%

Residential wood burning 5%

Coal-fired utilities 5%

Vinyl is one of more than 20 sources that make up the “other” category. Individually, vinyl is less than 0.4% of the total – that’s less than 5 grams throughout the entire United States. Even if vinyl was not being manufactured and used daily in myriad essential and lifesaving products, the levels of dioxin in the environment would be essentially unchanged.

Let me know what questions or negative statements about PVC that you have been faced with and we’ll address them here. Email me at