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RE: (Fwd) Re: Vinyl Chloride Odor
I think the questions posed by Jon were fine, but the statement about
chosen profession and objectivity were a bit of a slam on Bill. I don't
think that all people in the chemical business are bad and a comment
like that slams some very environmentally concerned people just because
they work in a field that produces some of the very chemicals and
supplies that we all use daily. These compounds may be bad in the
environment, but without plastic, I would not be able to type this into
my plastic keyboard. I think that we are all fighting for a safe place
to live, so we should stop attacking people that have spent years in
school and work learning chemistry or environmental activism.
From: Anita Davies
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: (Fwd) Re: Vinyl Chloride Odor
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 1997 1:14PM
Dr. Bill, (Can I call you Mr. Bill?)
Do you really think that the below statements were an attack from
Jon? Get real buddy. He was asking you questions that were raised
prompted by an article. After all, you are the one that should have
that kind of data, for God's sake. What do you want in life,
people to unquestionably deem you correct yet put those who simply
challenge you on the chopping block? A little defensive, Dr. Bill?
I wonder why? By the way, Mr. Campbell in no way appears to me to
act "superior" to you or to anyone.
Louis Berger & Associates, Environmental Engineering Division
30 Vreeland Road Florham Park, NJ 07932
Jon, and the list:
I sent these postings privately to Jon because he is incorrect to
assume tha tthe odor of plasticized PVC is vinyl chloride, and out of
respect for himI did not want to conduct that discussion in public.
Clearly, this is now a public discussion.
Monitoring done in processing facilities--like those making window
shades--shows vinyl chloride is always well below the OSHA action
level (0.5 ppm), and usually is non detect at low ppb levels. You
can't smell vinyl chloride in a processing plant, never mind at home
or in your car.
Therefore, I ask the list. Who has data that shows that Jon is
correct that a new windowshade in your home outgasses VCM to the
extent that the odor is detectable--never mind strong?
I've tried to be civil and helpful to people on this list, even if we
usually don't agree. If no one, including Jon, can produce this data,
then I hope Jon will consider an apology to me for an unnecessary
Chlorine Chemistry Council
Bill (and the list)
I was quoting from the book "Toxics A to Z, A Guide To Everyday
Pollution Hazards, by John Harte, Cheryl Holdren, Richard Schneider,
and Christine Shirley, published in 1991 by University of California
Press. John Harte is a professor in the Energy and Resources Group at
I'll quote from the article on vinyl chloride directly:
"Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas with a characteristic
"plastic" odor. It is about twice as heavy as air, so that
when the gas is released into the atmosphere, it tends to
"Vinyl chloride is widely distributed throughout the
industrialized world. The highest outdoor concentrations
are usually found near vinyl chloride manufacturing
plants and near industrial sites that work with PVC
plastics. Residents of the Houston, TX area are the most
likely group to be exposed as a result of industrial activity
because 40% of U.S. production capacity is located
in that area..."
"Vinyl chloride can also be found in some municipal
drinking waters and in a variety of foods and beverages,
including alcoholic drinks, vinegar, oil, butter, and mineral
waters. The source for this vinyl chloride contamination
is believed to be PVC pipes and plastic packaging.
Other sources of vinyl chloride exposure include new
automobile interiors, tobacco products...Occupational
exposure is likely anywhere vinyl chloride or PVC plastics
are made or used during a manufacturing process.
"Vinyl chloride can cause cancer in people following
both inhalation and ingestion. It is known to cause
liver, brain, and central nervous system cancers in
people, and it may cause human lung cancer, leukemia,
"....liver damage...bone loss...circulatory changes...
Protection and Prevention
"...Ventilate new cars well before sitting in them. Do this
by opening the doors for a few minutes after the car has
been sitting in the sun or leaving the windows partially
open while driving until that "new car smell" is no
Bill, I was quite serious about your chosen profession.
When you work for people that pollute, your objectivity
becomes compromised. You will have to be the judge
of whether that has happened to you. I think you know
our opinions about this. This extends not only to
the the current discussion but also to the discussion
about lead (in which you talked about domestic sources,
knowing full well, as Charlie Cray pointed out,
that most children's toys and other items are
Do you have proof that the odor of new PVC is not
VC monomer? Have you smelled VC monomer and
can tell me that the odor I identify with
new PVC is not VC monomer? Any idea why, if
what you say is true, that Toxics A to Z would
make the statements listed above? Are they
just "uninformed" like you have said I am?