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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Where is it Commonly Found?

Pipes, conduits, waterproofing, roofing, siding, door and windows, resilient flooring, carpet backing, wall covering, signage, window treatments, furniture, and wire cable sheathing
The potent carcinogen dioxin is created in production of PVC and it can cause severe health problems such as cancer, endocrine disruption, endometriosis, neurological damage, birth defects, impaired child development, reproductive and immune system damage

What are its known health effects?

Carcinogen (NTP-C) (P65)

Developmental Toxicant (P65)

What are its suspected health effects?

Cardiovascular or Blood Toxicant (ATSDR) (EPA-HEN) (LADO - L) (OEHHA-CREL)

Endocrine Toxicant (BKH) (BRUC) (IL-EPA) (JNIHS) (KEIT) (OEHHA-CREL) (WWF)

Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant (DIPA) (EPA-HEN) (LADO - L) (OEHHA-CREL)

Immunotoxicant (ATSDR)

Neurotoxicant (STAC)

Reproductive Toxicant (OEHHA-CREL)

Respiratory Toxicant (HAZMAP) (OEHHA-CREL)

Skin or Sense Organ Toxicant (EPA-HEN) (HAZMAP) (KLAA)

Alternative Materials

PET plastic for wiring jacketing; natural and polyolefin materials for wallcovers; Rubber, Linoluem, PVC-free resilient flooring options, Nylon, Polyester for shower curtains; Polyurethane, Nylon, Nylon Microfiber and Polyethylene; Fiberglass base with cotton flocked backing, polyester with arcylic foamed backing, polyester, polyester and cotton, Olefin-coated olefin yarn, and Thermoplastic Olefin. There are many PVC-free options for piping, conduits, flooring, carpet, wall protection systems, windows & doors, backings, and window treatments

Additional Regulatory Information

Several bans are currently under consideration in the EU. In NYC - PVC piping is not permitted in any buildings other than one and two family homes.

Does it Correspond With Any Green Building Credits?

Living Building Challenge (1.2) - Prerequisite 5;
Living Building Challenge 3.0 - Red List;
Green Guide for Health Care - MR Credit 4.1;
Pearl Building Rating System v1.0 SM-1: Non-Polluting Materials;
Green Star – Education v1 (GBCA) MAT-6 PVC Minim

How is it Categorized?

Chlorinated Polymers

What is its Origin?

Several bans are currently under consideration in the EU. In NYC - PVC piping is not permitted in any buildings other than one and two family homes.

Polyvinyl Chloride was first discovered in the 19th century, but in 1926, Waldo Semon developed a method to plasticize PVC that resulted in a more flexible and easily processed material. Phthalates are a class of plasticizers used mostly in the production of flexible PVC products. Today PVC is by far the most common chlorine based material in the world.

Divisions and Sections

Div 03 Water Stops

Div 04 PVC Flashing (Elastomeric Thermoplastic Flashing)

Div 04 Unit Masonry

Div 07 Polyvinyl-Chloride (PVC) Roofing

Div 07 Self-Adhering Sheet Waterproofing

Div 07 Siding

Div 07 Dampproofing and Waterproofing

Div 07 Membrane Roofing

Div 08 Gasketing

Div 08 Vinyl Window

Div 09 Wall Coverings

Div 09 Fabric-Wrapped Panels

Div 09 Resilient Athletic Flooring

Div 09 Resilient Base and Accessories

Div 09 Resilient Sheet Flooring

Div 09 Resilient Tile Flooring

Div 09 Static-Control Resilient Flooring

Div 09 Stretched-Fabric Wall Systems

Div 09 Tile Carpeting

Div 10 Toilet Compartments

Div 10 Toilet, Bath, and Laundry Accessories

Div 10 Signage

Div 10 Flagpoles

Div 10 Banners

Div 10 Accordion Folding Partitions

Div 10 Awnings

Div 10 Walkway Covers

Div 10 Cubicles

Div 10 Operable Partitions

Div 10 Visual Display Surfaces

Div 11 Play Field Equipment and Structures

Div 11 Loading Dock Equipment

Div 11 Gymnasium Equipment

Div 11 Projection Screens

Div 12 Site Furnishings

Div 12 Horizontal Louver Blinds

Div 12 Entrance Floor Mats and Frames

Div 12 Vertical Louver Blinds

Div 32 Chain Link Fences and Gates

Div 32 Playground Protective Surfacing

Div 33 Utilities

General Reference