What does PVC medical abbreviation mean?

What is PVC anyway?

PVC is a synthetic resin that is used in a wide variety of areas from the construction industry to the packaging industry. The abbreviation PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. For a long time, PVC was one of the most popular plastics in the world because it was so versatile. Today it is considered toxic and hazardous to health. Its use has therefore decreased significantly. Nevertheless: Despite concerns and proven harmfulness for humans and the environment, it is still used. You can find out what you should therefore know about PVC here ...

Where does PVC occur?

Above all, PVC is attractive because of its low cost and versatility. It can also be mixed well with other substances and can have different degrees of hardness. If plasticizers are added to PVC, it can be found, for example, in toys, floor coverings, cling film, shower curtains, medical hoses, in transport boxes for food and even in clothes. Rigid PVC is also used in packaging, credit cards, window frames, and a variety of building materials.

What are the disadvantages of PVC?

During processing, PVC is mixed with plasticizers, among other things, and also consists to a large extent of chlorides. These toxic substances are of particular concern in contact with food. The plasticizers in particular are dangerous for people and the environment. Rigid PVC does not decompose and therefore cannot harm the environment or air and water if it is properly disposed of. However, PVC becomes dangerous if, for example, it gets into the sea and is mistaken for food by animals, which can lead to the death of the animals. However, the plasticizers in the soft PVC products represent a direct danger. If the PVC products are stored as waste in landfills, the plasticizers dissolve and contaminate the seepage water, for example. If PVC is burned, poisonous substances are also released.
In addition, PET and PVC are repeatedly mixed in the recycling process. This means that it cannot be ruled out that there may be health-endangering PVC residues in PET, which is rather harmless to humans.

How can you avoid PVC?

If a product or packaging contains PVC, it does not necessarily have to be clearly labeled. Nevertheless, the typical arrow triangle is printed on most packaging. If there is a three in the middle, this is the indicator for PVC. If, on the other hand, there is a one in the middle of the triangle, then it is a question of PET, which is a little better tolerated (what actually is PET?). It is particularly easy to avoid PVC if you try to use as little packaging as possible. For example, use reusable stainless steel bottles for your water. Avoid using foils to keep your food fresh after opening and instead use storage containers. Here too, stainless steel is particularly suitable. And while shopping, you can be careful to buy food that is not wrapped in plastic.

In the meantime, numerous alternatives to PVC have also emerged in the construction industry. So it's best to get advice from a specialist on your next project.