Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Companies, hospitals move away from toxic material
Special Report: Toxic America
Is enough being done to protect us from chemicals that could harm us? Watch "Toxic America," a special two-night investigative report with Sanjay Gupta, M.D., at 8 p.m. ET June 2 and 3 on CNN.
(CNN) -- Worried about toxic waste and chemical exposure, more and more companies and hospitals are moving away from polyvinyl chloride.
PVC is used in everything from home siding, pipes and flooring to school supplies, car interiors and packaging, electrical cords and medical tubing. But making or burning PVC waste produces dioxins, cancer-causing chemicals that are among the most toxic substances known.
"Our concerns about the ways in which PVC can be disposed of, burned for example ... caused us to begin eliminating PVC from our products," Hewlett-Packard's Tony Prophet said. The computer giant launched its first PVC-free notebook computer last year.
Microsoft, Honda, Wal-Mart, Target and Nike are among other large corporations moving away from polyvinyl chloride, said Mike Schade, the PVC campaign coordinator for the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.
"There's been a major market shift away from PVC in just about every major sector of the economy," Schade said.