What is PVC?

We’ve all heard the name, but not many of us know exactly what PVC is or what it’s used for.The most common use for PVC is what we’re all used hearing follow the acronym, and that is pipes.However, because of the nature of PVC, it is used for so much more than just transporting water.Before we go there though, we first have to look at what PVC actually is.

PVC is one of the seven kinds of plastic, and stands for polyvinyl chloride.Sometimes it’s just referred to as “vinyl,” which is the common term for it in the United States. We’re most used to seeing it being used for pipes, though it can be used for a wide variety of other products, such as outdoor furniture and toys.Some important things to remember about PVS plastics are:

  • When heated, these plastics give off chemicals that are extremely harmful for humans to consume.Because of this, they should not be used to store food or to heat food in.Many companies used to use PVC as part of their food containers, but since this discovery, they’ve stopped making containers with PVC.If you own any older food storage containers, it’s important to check which number plastic they are, and to make sure that they’re not using any harmful substances.
  • PVC has been around for a while, and has been used for a variety of things.One of the uses of PVC includes waterproofing clothing during the 20’s and from there have expanded into an even bigger market.It’s been used in the latex of inflatable structures, and to replace a great deal of construction supplies.
  • Because PVC is so durable and doesn’t rust or react to UV light, it has replaced a lot of structures such as pipes.It’s also extremely cheap to produce, so many companies use it as an alternative to other, more costly materials.As of today, thousands upon thousands of homes are supplied water through PVC pipes.
  • PVC is extremely flexible and can be made transparent.In many countries in Europe, PVC is still used widely as a means to keep food fresh.It’s a company favorite because of its low cost and its ability to protect food without affecting its taste.It can also be found in as a huge part of toy packaging.It’s flexible and durable without driving up products costs.

PVC can be found in most areas of our lives, even though we don’t notice most of these times.The next time you rip open a new package, step into a hospital, uncover a piece of meat from the grocery store, or even pour yourself a glass of water, take a moment to think about how much plastic we use and consume on a daily basis, and how PVC has revolutionized the world.The magnitude of its impact is mind blowing.