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green building The Problem with PVC

Things like plastic and vinyl are synthetic materials people have created to help make or manufacture thousands of different items like furniture, flooring, pipes and paint. Even though these synthetic materials can be used in ways that are helpful, they also create some problems. Vinyl for instance, is a type of plastic called PVC (polyvinyl chloride) that can be made soft and flexible or easy to bend. Although PVC has been very useful in many ways, it also gives off poisonous gases or toxic fumes when it's being made or burned.

Whenever vinyl or PVC is in our furniture, computers or carpets, tiny toxic particles or bits are released into the air in small doses. Over time, these poisons can gather in our body and create sickness. Because of this, some companies are now choosing to stop using PVC in the products that they manufacture. When building a green building, careful choices are always made to prevent or stop PVC from being used to make or furnish it. This helps keep the inside of the building healthy. Another way to help keep the inside of our homes healthy is to bring in lots of green, living houseplants. Scientists at NASA say that many houseplants actually absorb the toxic fumes that come from the synthetic materials we use! Watch this fun cartoon about PVC!

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