Target has announced that it will reduce its use of PVC plastic in consumer packaging and children's products, reports Sara Munoz of the Wall Street Journal. Munoz writes that evidence against the use of PVC packaging has recently been mounting:
"PVC is made with vinyl chloride, which the Environmental Protection Agency has classified as a human carcinogen...A concern with vinyl products is they may contain lead, which can pose a problem if the plastic deteriorates or children put the products in their mouths. Phthalates, chemicals often added to PVC to increase flexibility, have been linked to reproductive development problems in males. The European Union and California have banned the sale of toys containing phthalates. The California ban will go into effect in 2009."
A recent study commissioned by the US EPA and California DTSC found that over 60% of PVC packaging tested already violates state law for unacceptable levels of toxic heavy metals (see related CAW Recycling News Item).