For Immediate Release:
(New York, NY) A new national study released today found for the first time ever that over 60% of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging tested contains toxic heavy metals that violate state toxics in packaging laws in 19 states. Inks and colorants used on plastic shopping and mailing bags were the other packaging materials with frequently detected heavy metals. The study was conducted by the Toxics In Packaging Clearinghouse, a network of nine state environmental agencies coordinating toxics in packaging legislation.
"This new study underscores the need for a global phase out of PVC packaging," said Michael Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. "PVC packaging contains heavy metals that can harm our health and environment. Safer PVC-free packaging is widely available and innovative companies are eliminating this poison plastic."
In response to PVC's health and environmental impacts, many companies have publicly committed to eliminate PVC packaging. Wal-Mart has committed to phase out private label PVC packaging in two years. Other companies eliminating PVC packaging include Aveda, Body Shop, Bristol Myers, Boots, Crabtree & Evelyn, Dean Foods, Dell, Estée Lauder, Evian, H&M, Helene Curtis, Hewlett Packard, Ikea, Johnson and Johnson, Kiss My Face, Limited Brands (Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works), Marks and Spencer, Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, SC Johnson, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony. A national coalition of over 60 health and environmental organizations are calling on Target to phase out PVC packaging and products. Since October, over 40,000 Target customers have signed petitions and sent letters to the company and over 200 events have been held at Target stores across the country.
Nineteen states have laws that prohibit the sale or distribution of packaging containing intentionally added cadmium, lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium. The states with this legislation are California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) is working to prevent harm by shifting decision makers from producing, using and disposing of PVC consumer products and packaging. CHEJ has worked with and convinced Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, Wal-Mart, Crabtree & Evelyn, and other companies to phase out their use of PVC in packaging.
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For More Information Contact: Mike Schade, CHEJ, 212-964-3680, mike[at]besafenet[dot]com
Attention reporters: Copies of the new study are available online at www.toxicsinpackaging.org
For additional information about the hazards of PVC packaging, visit www.besafenet.com/pvc