Everything You Need To Know About PVC Plastic Sheets | Environmental Regulations
BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION
Get help from an experienced legal adviser. Schedule your consultation at a time that works for you and it's absolutely FREE.
Polyvinyl chloride – also known as PVC or vinyl – has been an integral part of our lives since the early mid-20th century. It is widely used because of its strength and resistance to sunlight, oil and chemicals, weathering and fire. PVC is seen everywhere around us to be such a versatile material. It is used in toys, bottles, packaging, bedding, construction materials, wire coatings, clothing, pipes and furniture – and that's just a few items! Here, we're going to find out more about this ubiquitous material and why we should be worried about it. According to recent research, PVC now ranks third in both global plastic output and global consumption. Every year, we produce more than 33 million tons of PVC – a figure that will only rise annually. Chlorine makes up about 57% of the mass of PVC, making use of less petroleum than other polymers.
PVC has been at the center of a controversial debate over the last two decades. A number of differing scientific, technical and economic opinions have been expressed on the question of PVC and its effects on human health and the environment regulations. Some Member States have recommended or adopted measures relating to specific aspects of the PVC life cycle. These measures, however, vary widely. In order to assess the entire life cycle of PVC and its potential impact on human health and the environment, as well as the proper functioning of the internal market, the Commission has carried out a number of studies and published a Green Paper on PVC environmental issues.
Vinyl is versatile: it can be as rigid as industrial pipes, as foldable as plastic wraps, and as thin and flexible as wall coverings. It can also be completely clear or matched to any colour you want.
- PVC Plastic Sheets -
PVC plastic sheet is an extremely durable material that is much stronger than other plastics. Typically, it can withstand multiple impacts that completely break down components made of acrylic or styrene, for example. PVC is extremely chemically resistant and is resistant to attack or degradation by a wide range of chemicals, making it the material of choice for many tough industrial applications. It is used for common applications including chemical processing tanks, valves, fittings and pipe systems. In addition, other applications including cladding, electrical insulators, acid Tank, templates, fabricated fittings and battery boxes.
Following are the benefits of using PVC plastic sheets
- PVC sheet has good durability and mechanical properties.
- Good electrical insulation properties
- Very high chemical and moisture resistance
- Excellent forming properties
- Good dimensional stability;
- Bondable and great for welding
- Fairly low-cost
- Construction and Building
Approximately three-quarters of all vinyl produced goes to long-lasting construction and construction applications. Life-cycle studies show that PVC/vinyl is effective in protecting the environment in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions and conservation of resources and energy. Because it is strong and resistant to moisture and abrasion, vinyl is ideal for cladding, windows, roofing, fencing, ceilings, wall coverings and flooring. Vinyl does not corrode like certain building materials, does not require frequent painting and can be cleaned with mild cleaning products.
- Siding and windows - Vinyl helps to produce extremely durable, affordable siding and window frames that help conserve energy in heating and cooling homes. Vinyl windows, in fact, have three times the heat insulation of aluminium windows.
- Cables and wirings - Vinyl can withstand tough conditions behind the building walls – such as exposure to changing temperatures and dampness – for the life of the building. As a result, it is one of the most prevalent and reliable materials used in electrical wiring and cables.
- Water pipes - PVC helps to conserve energy and water by creating virtually leak-free pipes that are not prone to corrosion and are resistant to environmental stress. PVC breakage rates are as low as one percent of the breakage rates for cast metal systems. The lack of PVC pipe build-up improves functionality and increases energy efficiency.
- Health Care
Vinyl plays a critical role in the safety of life-saving medicine through IV bags and medical tubing. The advent of the PVC blood collection bag was a major breakthrough, as blood bags are flexible and unbreakable, enhance the development of ambulatory medicine and serve as the foundation for modern blood banks.
Because it is durable, reliable and lightweight, flexible PVC helps packaging to maintain the integrity of the products inside, including medicines. Clear vinyl is used in over-the-counter, tamper-resistant drugs and in shrink wrap for consumer products. Rigid vinyl film is used in blister and clamshell packaging to protect medicines, personal care products and household goods.
- Household products
The affordability, durability and water resistance of PVC make it ideal for raincoats, boots and shower curtains.
PVC and Environment Regulation
Different political institutions, laws, and market processes have taken shape in the regulation of human relations with the environment, which have evolved over time according to changes in social, cultural, and technical conditions. The forms of environmental regulation differ from one nation to another and continue to emerge at international level as industrialization and globalization create cross-border issues. PVC contribute to the environment regulation.
- Problem for environment and humanity
Greenpeace has therefore ordered the cessation of the production of PVC. Dioxin, one of the deadliest man-made toxins, comes from both the processing and incineration. It is also a chronic poison, meaning that for a long time it lingers in the body. Dioxin is also concentrated in carnivores, including humans, in food chains at the highest levels.
In other words, what's detrimental to the atmosphere and to animals is harmful to us as well. To improve its flexibility, phthalates are substances applied to PVC. Animal research has shown that some of these chemicals can cause cancer, as well as damage to the kidney and reproductive system.
The most troubling aspect of the whole PVC industry is that toys contain soft PVC. And we all know how much infants and toddlers enjoy putting stuff in their mouths. Ever since the problem of phthalates has become a more common concern, the U.S. The Agency for Environmental Protection (EPA) was forced to announce a range of steps.
More and more studies have shown that PVC pose such a serious threat to the environment and human health as any other plastic. All during its lifecycle, from manufacture to use to disposal, this material is hazardous. The market for polyvinyl chloride, however, is only rising.
- Identification and recycling
As it turns out, it is not as easy as it sounds to recognize PVC objects. Examine the plastic things you have around the house; PVC is any-thing that has a '3' or 'V' stamp on the plastic itself. Inside the famous recycling symbol, the 3 may also show up.
The identification number does not, however, appear inside the recycling logo in many instances. It's under the logo sometimes, or the logo doesn't appear at all. The takeaway here is that the easily discernible identification point should be looked for: number 3.
It's nice to know at the same time that stamping isn't always going to be there. Concerned citizens should contact the maker in those situations. The more individuals communicate their fears about the implications of PVC, the better it is to get the message upstream.
- Diversion of PVC from landfills
Most countries are facing this problem, let's look at the UK. Most of the PVC ends up in the landfill here, with around 380,000 tons per year. In its own right, this striking figure reflects a major environmental effect, frequently mimicked by other countries in the Western world.
One of PVC's main fears is that chemicals such as plasticizers and stabilizers based on metal can leach into the soil and have an irrevocable effect on the environment. As they bear more chemicals by weight, versatile PVC items such as floor coverings are the biggest risks.
Recent research has, however, indicated that while leaching of chemicals of concern occurs in landfills, it is limited in most instances. The authorities had to use elevated temperatures and acidic conditions when chemical release is increased.
- PVC products and Lead
Should lead concentrations in polyvinyl chloride products be of interest to us? Lead compounds are traditionally used as heat stabilizers for rigid PVC, such as gutters and drains. Nevertheless, they have been safely used for decades. As the lead-based stabiliser is tightly bound into the PVC matrix, there is limited leaching from the surface of the PVC.
Researchers accept that the use of lead compounds would not substantially contribute to the environmental leaching of lead. However, considering the potential for employees to be exposed to lead in stabilizer processing, community concern still exists.
- Alternative to PVC
So, if PVC is so harmful, what else can we use? The response is fairly difficult. Many research teams are trying to develop some new products without the health and environmental impacts that show the same attractive characteristics of PVC.
These degradable plastics are engineered to break down without releasing pollutants and harmful gases in landfill conditions (heat, darkness, and humidity) within a matter of years. These materials, however, are still not widely available at this stage, as they are very costly.
PVC might be really up to the mark of expectations of humans, may be fashionable enough and low cost as well but in the long run, it will cause serious damages to the environment. But despite of all the reports and findings in relation to that, PVC industry is still growing at a faster rate. It is a serious problem as humans have come to the point that environmental regulation does matter to them anymore, only what is suitable for them in the short run. Roosevelt said, that the ones who trade their freedom for temporary liberty, deserves neither. It’s high time we understand this.