Visitors of music festival Boskovice which starts on Thursday 19 July can visit Arnika´s information kiosk which will be open from 19 to 22 July and will offer interesting and perhaps for some shocking information about impact of PVC, one of the most widely used materials, on human health and environment. People will also have possibility to sign the petition for substitution of PVC in fields with the strongest negative impacts – in healthcare, toys and food packages (1). About 1,800 people including significant personalities have so far signed the petition (2).
„It is surprising that only a few people know about negative impacts of PVC on human organism, though polyvinylchloride is one of the most widely used plastic materials which surrounds us basically everywhere. It contains a range of toxic chemicals which leak out from it and, despite legal measures, can be found in children´s toys and food packages in surprisingly high concentrations even though they should not be there at all. We came with our info-kiosk as we want to offer this information to public,“ said Miroslava Jopková, head of Arnika´s campaign Do Not Play with PVC“.
Jopková drew attention to phthalates (3) – one of compounds of PVC which have a role of its softener. „For instance, phthalates in medical devices leak from them in a quantity which requires special diet for patients so that they do not absorb them in too high quantity. The reason is that the phthalates bind to lipids. They also leak from toys made of PVC, and the problem is that children are the most sensitive to their impacts and can suffer from them when they grow up as phthalates are harmful for instance on sperm. Some studies (4) ascribe a worsening course of asthmatic and allergic diseases to the large quantity of PVC products (more exactly, of substances leaking from this material) which surround us,“ Jopková explained.
As she added, another problem is that it is difficult to recycle PVC which does not even belong to containers for separated waste, because one bottle made of PVC depreciates 30-50 thousands of PET bottles.
Details about the festival Boskovice 2007: http://www.unijazz.cz/boskovice_program.php?lang=CZ
(1) Text of the petition (in Czech): http://pvc.arnika.org/petice.shtml
(2) Signatories of the petition, among others, are composer, text writer, singer and frontman of Traband Jaroslav Soboda, author of low energy houses – academic architect Aleš Brotánek, consultant of minister of environment Dalibor Stráský, nephrologist Karel Ševela, members of music bands Kale and Charlie Straight.
(3) Phthalates or esters of phthalate acid represent group of cca 40 chemicals. They are used as additives in PVC and as softeners but are also used in cosmetics, in agriculture as insecticides or as adhesives. Use of the most hazardous kinds of phthalates was limited in production of toys and other children products and in cosmetics because of negative health effects. These six most hazardous phthalates are: di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), di-iso-decyl phthalate (DIDP), butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Other information about phthalates is on: http://bezjedu.arnika.org/chemicka-latka.shtml?x=1910056. The main risks related to them are their negative impacts on hormonal and reproductive systems as well as on the liver, kidneys, lungs and on blood condensability.
(4) Tuomainen, A. et al. Experimental PVC Material Challenge in Subjects with Occupational PVC Exposure. 2005.