Frequently Asked Questions about PVC Roofing Systems: Part 4

Q: Who says PVC materials are safe and/or environmentally benign?

A: The following are among the many organizations that have conducted scientific studies and life cycle assessments on PVC that have arrived at neutral or positive conclusions regarding the comparative health, safety and/or environmental sustainability of PVC production, installation, use and disposal:

Q: What about concerns that PVC production results in deadly emissions of dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, causing health problems among PVC workers and nearby communities?

A: According to the EPA, since adoption of a closed-loop manufacturing process in the mid-1970s vinyl chloride emissions in vinyl plants have been reduced by 99 percent and dioxin emissions from all sources have been reduced by 92 percent. During the same time frame, PVC production in the U.S. more than tripled. In 1997, CDC reported that the PVC industry had “almost completely eliminated worker exposures to vinyl chloride” as well as the incidence of cancer and other illnesses caused by exposure. More recent studies by ATSDR and others have shown that dioxin levels and the incidence of cancer in communities near PVC production facilities are no higher than the national average.