A study conducted by the Toxics in Packaging Clearing House for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and others finds that over 60% of PVC packaging is in violation of California's Toxics In Packaging Prevention Act, which was passed in 2003 as AB 455 (Chu) and went into effect in 2006. The law restricts the use of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury or Chromium in all packaging sold in California. PVC retail packaging was the worst offender, with over 61% of packaging in violation of the Act, some with levels of heavy metals over 9 times what is allowed.
In addition to the prevalent use of toxic heavy metals, PVC is manufactured with several known carcinogens and have been known to off-gas dioxins, phthalates and hydrogen chloride gas. Recently, Wal-Mart and Microsoft joined the long list of companies that do not carry or use PVC packaging. Germany, Spain and Sweden are all phasing out the use of PVC.