New York State PTA Passes PVC Phase Out Resolution

Last week in Saratoga Springs, NY, the New York State Parent Teacher Association passed a resolution calling for the phase out of PVC in schools statewide. This follows similar resolutions recently passed by New York State United Teachers, the American Public Health Association, and United University Professions.

Polyvinyl chloride is the third most widely produced plastic in the world. You can find it in pipes, clothing and signs, to name a few of its applications.

As it degrades, PVC poses many health risks and environmental issues. It releases micro-particles that can then be absorbed by living organisms. Phthalates are also used in PVC and have been linked to increased risk of cancer, kidney damage and interference with reproductive development in humans.

As with asbestos, it's time that we put children's safety first and begin to remove PVC from their environment.

Below is the resolution in full:

Reducing & Phasing Out the Purchase of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Plastic in New York

Whereas chronic childhood health problems and conditions linked to environmental
exposures are on the rise, including learning and developmental disorders; and
children who are developing mentally and physically are uniquely vulnerable to
harm from toxic chemicals such as those released by polyvinyl chloride (PVC or
vinyl) plastic; and

Whereas PVC materials and products contain toxic additives, including volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) and phthalates, that may be released into the indoor
environment, posing hazards to human health; and

Whereas PVC is commonly found in office supplies and building materials used in New
York State schools, thereby causing children and school staff to come into direct
contact with PVC-related toxins that can endanger their health; and

Whereas safer, cost-effective alternatives to PVC products are readily available for schools
to purchase and use, and the US Green Building Council provides incentives for
schools to avoid PVC and phthalates in “green schools”; therefore be it

Resolved that the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc. seek and
support legislation that would reduce and phase out the use of PVC products at
all New York State school facilities; and be it further Resolved that the New York State PTA urge school districts and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to develop green procurement policies to reduce and phase out the use and purchase of PVC building materials and office and education supplies in school facilities where safer cost effective alternatives
are available; and be it further

Resolved that the New York State PTA and its constituent units educate parents and
community members about the potential health effects of PVC and work to
eliminate PVC products at all PTA-sponsored events; and be it further

Resolved that the New York State PTA forward this resolution to the National PTA for its consideration.