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San Francisco Chronicle Santa Cruz Sentinel – June 16, 2008

Letter to the Editor
By: Dr Patrick Moore
June 16, 2008

Editor – As a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, I’ve been working on sustainability issues for almost 40 years. I can tell you that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most sustainable, versatile and cost-effective materials available.

Yet, as I write, a proposed ban (AB2505) on PVC in packaging is headed to the California Senate. This wrong-headed approach lacks any basis in science. While my former Greenpeace colleagues have made the indefensible decision to attack PVC and have promoted bans such as this one, the material has been used safely and reliably for decades in packaging and products, including many regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Consumer Product Safety Commission and European Union.

The best way to deliver affordable, safe drinking water is through a PVC pipe. The best way to insulate electrical wiring is with a PVC coating. In hospitals, floors and wall coverings use PVC widely. PVC is a durable, cost-effective siding for buildings because of its low maintenance and long life. Building with PVC saves on energy and material costs.

California legislators must recognize, at least to some extent, the negative implications of a ban on PVC, because they have already exempted a host of products, including packaging for medications, medical devices and bottles for petroleum products such as lighter fluid and auto treatments. If PVC is safe for medication packaging, then it’s safe for other uses.

Clearly, the ban is being driven by an extremist political agenda that has little to do with science or sustainability.

Vancouver, B.C.

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