Dioxin - Closer than you think!

Feature Story - 2004-12-20
The deadly chemical dioxin has hit the headlines with the poisoning of Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko. What doesn't often make the news is the fact that dioxin pollution is far more widespread than political poisonings.

Action against toxic dioxin emmissions from a polluting incinerator.

Dioxins are amongst the most deadly toxins known to man. They are a common industrial by-product and have been found to cause cancer and reproductive disorders. While it took an exceptionally high dose (1000 times the normal levels) to poison Mr Yuschenko the fact that we consume tiny amounts of dioxin everyday in the food we eat is frightening enough. Almost everyone has some level of dioxin in their blood because the toxic chemical is widespread in the environment and accumulates in the food chain.

One of the biggest sources of dioxin is the commonly used plastic PVC (vinyl). Dioxins are created during the production, use and disposal of PVC especially in incinerators or open fires. Once created dioxins persist in the environment for many years.

What products in my home are made of PVC?

From shower curtains to vinyl floors to PVC in toys, you might be surprised at the numerous ways this plastic is used. It is even used in packaging and electronics equipment. While on the surface PVC may appear to be the ideal versatile material, it has high environmental and human health costs that its manufacturers fail to tell consumers.

The good news is you can do something about PVC and dioxin.

Use our database to find PVC-free building products or check our chemical house to find consumer products that don't contain PVC or other nasty chemicals.