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An Investigation into the Life Cycle of PVC and its Alternatives using Three-Bottom-Line Assessment Tee, Song Ci; Nursultanov, Yerzhan; Vanderhout, Russell 2010

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report  An Investigation into the Life Cycle of PVC and its Alternatives using ThreeBottom-Line Assessment Song Ci Tee, Yerzhan Nursultanov, Russell Vanderhout University of British Columbia APSC261 November 30, 2010  Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  An Investigation into the Life Cycle of PVC and its Alternatives using ThreeBottom-Line Assessment Group G: Red-Listed Materials  Song Ci Tee Yerzhan Nursultanov  Russell Vanderhout i     ABSTRACT The University of British Columbia (UBC) is well-known for striving to implant environmental sustainability in every inch on its ground. One of the most outstanding strategies was to establish the University Sustainability Initiative (USI) as a leading society to sustainability, incorporating sustainability learning and research opportunities. To further integrate the students and the faculties to the UBC sustainability programs, UBC SEEDS (Social, Ecological, Economic, and Development Studies) was established as the first sustainability integration academic program in Western Canada. At the same time, the new SUB construction project was launched, and it is expected to be completed in 2014. In parallel to the objective of UBC sustainability policies, the new SUB design team is now striving for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certificate. In order to obtain LEED Platinum, red-listed materials are to be avoided in the design as much as possible. One of the most common red-listed materials is polyvinyl chlorine, generally known as PVC. The three-bottom-line assessment is done on PVC, in order to evaluate how the life cycle of PVC affects the environment, the society and the economy. The assessment shows that the life cycle of PVC largely contributes to negative environmental impacts, such as green house gas emission, global warming, energy consumption and waste construction. Although PVC costs low, it is potentially hazardous to human health. Possible alternatives to PVC are examined, in order to eliminate the negative impacts of PVC as much as possible. In this matter, the assessment shows that wood is the most environmental-friendly alternative. Other building materials such as aluminium, ethylene propylene (EPDM) and polyethylene (PE) are proven to be a better alternative to PVC building components. In terms of the social impact of PVC, the history of PVC antagonism, due to the health hazard caused, is presented in the assessment. In conclusion, PVC is indeed one of the largest contributors to negative environmental impacts, as well as a socially-undesirable and economically-inefficient product. Moreover, it is possible to be substituted with environmentally, economically and socially-better materials. Therefore alternatives presented in the assessment should be implemented into the new SUB Building, in order to achieve LEED Platinum.  ii     TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………….….ii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS………………………………….……………………………...iv GLOSSARY……………………………………………………………………………….….v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS………………………………….…………………………….vii 1.0 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………...……………….....……...8 2.0 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF PVC AND WOOD ………………………...……..9 2.1 GREEN HOUSE GAS EMISSION AND GLOBAL WARMING ………….………9 2.1.1  PVC……………………….……………………………………….................9  2.1.2  WOOD…………...…………………………………………………………11  2.2 ENERGY CONSUMPTION………………………………………………………..12 2.2.1  PVC…………………………………………………………………………12  2.2.2  WOOD...…………………………………………………………………....13  2.3 WASTE CONTRUCTION ……………………………………………………….....……….14 2.3.1  PVC………………………………………………………………….….…..14  2.3.2  WOOD………………………………………………………..…….............15  3.0 ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PVC AND WOOD ………………………………………16 3.1 PVC IN WINDOWS………………………………………………………………..16 3.2 PVC IN ROOFING…………………………………………………………………16 3.3 PVC IN PIPING…………………………………………………………….………16 3.4 PVC IN FLOORING………………………………………………………..………18 4.0 SOCIAL IMPACTS OF PVC………………………………..…………………………..20 4.1 HISTORICAL IMPLICATIONS AND ANTAGONISM TOWARDS PVC INDUSTRY…………………………………………………………...…….............20 4.2 HEALTH CARE PROBLEMS………………………………...……………………21 4.3 SUCCESSFUL ELIMINATION OF PVC FROM FOOD PACKAGING IN NETHERLANDS…………………………………………………………….……..21 4.4 HOW INDUSTRY DEALS WITH CONFRONTATIONS……………………..….22 5.0 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………….……23 LIST OF REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………….24 APPENDICES……………………………………………………………………………….25 iii     LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS  Figure 1. Greenhouse gas emissions from PVC waste management and resin manufacture ……….…9 Figure 2. Contribution to the environmental impact categories by PVC and timber wood …………..11 Figure 3. Emissions to air per functional unit vinyl and wood flooring material………………..........12 Figure 4. Energy use per functional unit vinyl and wood flooring material…………………………..14 Figure 5. Waste generation per functional unit vinyl and wood flooring material ……………….......15 Figure 6. Roofing Installation Costs in Austin………………………………………………………..17  Table 1. Green house gas emitted from PVC manufacture……………………………………………10 Table 2. Green house gas emitted from PVC incineration……………………………………………10 Table 3. Total green house gases emission per 7.4kg wood…………………………………………..11 Table 4. Total resource of energy consumed from PVC manufacture……………………..…………12 Table 5. Total energy and resources consumed from PVC incineration……………………...………13 Table 6. Total energy consumption of the life cycle of wood flooring……………………………….13 Table 7. Fractions of PVC waste in different type of solid waste and landfilled portion……….…….14 Table 8. Life cycle costs of flooring (per square foot)……………………………………………...…19  iv     GLOSSARY  Abiotic Depletion:  Reduction in the number or quantity of nonliving components of the biosphere, such as rocks and minerals  Acro-osteolysis  A disease resulted in destruction of bones, characterized by clubbed fingers, bone deterioration, heart and metabolic problems, skin changes, and muscle anomalies  Angiosarcoma  A type of cancer characterized by rapidly duplicating and extensively penetrating cells derived from blood vessels, causing loss of structural differentiation within a cell or group of cells  Chlorinated PVC  A modified form of PVC used for hot water pipes  Cross-linked polyethylene  A modified form of polyethylene used for hot water pipes  Ethylene Propylene  A type of rubber that is used as insulation of high voltage cables  Elastomer Polyolefin  A class of polymers that can be used to substitute PVC for a better performance for all aspects and situations  Kyoto Protocol:  An International agreement, binding 37 countries and the European Community to reduce green house gas emission  Raynaud’s Syndrome  Reburning:  A disease resulted in constriction of blood vessel, characterized by highly sensitive, cold and prickling fingers  A process whereby a hydrocarbon fuel is injected immediately downstream of the combustion zone to establish a fuel-rich zone in order to convert nitric oxide to HCN v      Plasticizers:  A chemical substance added to plastics or other materials to make them more flexible  Phthalates:  A group of man-made chemicals as plasticizers in PVC  Polyethylene  A plastic material used for piping  vi     LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS CO2  Carbon Dioxide  CH4  Methane  CPVC  Chlorinated PVC  EPDM  Ethylene Propylene  NOx  Nitrogen Oxides  HCl  Hydrogen Chloride  PE  Polyethylene  PEX  Cross-linked polyethylene  PVC  Polyvinyl Chloride  TPO  Elastomer Polyolefin  vii     1.0  INTRODUCTION  Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is one of the most mass produced materials with a long controversial history, low economic cost, extensive physical properties and it is largest client of the chlorine industry. On the way to reach the LEED certificate for new SUB, there were a number of complexities. Additionally, partial or full elimination of PVC is one of the predominating factors. In order to fulfil requirements and show plausibility of environmental construction, undertaking examination of the current market for possible alternatives was an indispensible start.  The uniqueness of PVC is attributable to the polar molecular structure of vinyl chloride due to the presence of chlorine atoms that inexplicably were a triggering cause for early examination of polymer’s toxicity and continuous supervision of the industry. The continuous battle for more than 60 years between PVC and environmental organizations demonstrates the towering vigour of corporations for defending and dominating on the current market despite numerous environmental and health care problems associated with the plastic [11].  This report demonstrates the availability and possible utilization of alternative materials with equivalent economical and environmental assets that are fundamental components of a sustainable development. Understanding the full broadness of PVC applications, this report provides comparative examination on the window frame, piping, roofing and flooring alternatives with a particular focus on wood which is the most valuable material, widely used for its remarkable properties, i.e. high strength, low specific weight, good insulation properties and availability [6]. The ultimate and focal idea of the report is a disclosure and a demonstration of misperception of PVC as the only solution for affordable and dependable construction.  viii     2.0  EN NVIRONM MENTAL L IMPAC CTS OF PVC P AND D WOOD  In this repoort, a life cyccle analysiss (LCA) is performed p thhat comparees PVC to wood w in terms of impact onnthe environnment durinng their entirre life cyclees. This life cycle includes the resource acquiremeent phase, thhe production phase, thhe use phase and the reecycling/disposal pecifically, the t followinng environm mental comp parison is naarrowed dow wn into phase [22]. More sp three m main environnmental aspeects: green house gas emission e and d global waarming, enerrgy consum mption and waste w constrruction. 2.1  GREEN HOUSE H GA AS EMISSIO ON AND G GLOBAL WARMING W G The green house h gasess are defined d as, accordding to the In ntergovernm mental Paneel on  PCC) assessment reporrt user guidde, natural annd syntheticc gases thatt Climatee Change (IP “absorbb and emit radiation at specific s wavvelengths within w the sp pectrum of thermal t infrrared radiatioon emitted by b the Earthh’s surface, the t atmosphhere itself, and a by cloud ds” [8]. Exaamples of greenn house gases are carboon dioxide (CO ( 2), nitroogen oxides (NOx), metthane (CH4), ) hydrogeen chloride (HCl) and dust d [8]. 2.1.1  PVC C  Figure 1 (beelow) show ws the amoun nt of green house gases emitted duuring the liffe cycle of PVC C. This sectioon of the reeport focusees specificallly on the manufacturin m ng process, incineraation and landfill dispoosal. As observed from Figure 1, thhe largest coontribution to green hhouse gas em missions occcurs during the producttion phase [10]. The second largesst contribuution to green house gaas emissions occurs durring the dispposal phasee [10], primarily from inncinerating PVC P waste.  ix     Figure 1. Grreenhouse gaas emissions from PVC w waste manageement and reesin manufaccture (kg/tonnne) Source: Brow wn et al., 2000, p.55  ws the amouunt of speciific green house gases produced p w while Table 1 below show C. manufaacturing PVC  Table 1. Green house gas emittedd from PVC manufacturee, kg/tonnes of compoundd.  Adapted:: Brown et al.,, 2000, p.52  ws the amouunt of greenn house gases emitted during d PVC C waste incineration. Table 2 below show According to [3], landfill dispposal contribbutes the leaast CO2 emiission; the net n environm mental burden of producin ng 1 kg of PVC P is muchh larger thaan that of dissposing of 1 kg of PVC C in landfillss.  Table 2. Greeen house gaas emitted fro om PVC incineration.  Adapted: Broown et al., 20000, p.53  ossible, onlyy 30% of PV VC waste iss recycled [10]. In addittion, althouggh recyclingg PVC is po This is bbecause it is much cheaper to prod duce PVC products p witth primary resources, r thhan it is to recyccle used PV VC [6]. In otther words, the manufaacturing facttories see no o reason to spend money on recycling.  x     2.1.2  Wood  The amoun nt of the greeen house gaases emittedd is shown inn Table 3 below. The llargest contribuutions comee from the resource r acqquirement phase, p such as a sawmill, and transpoortation. From ouur calculatioon based onn Table 2 annd Table 3, wood contrributes abouut 86% less green house gases g compaared to the amount a of green g house gases emittted by PVC C.  Table 3. Total grreen house gases g emissioon per 7.4kg wood.  Adappted: Å. Jössoon et al., 1996, p.252  According to Figurre 2 (below)), wood conntributes neggatively tow wards globaal warming, provideed it is not laand-filled during d dispoosal [2]. Thiis is becausee during thee life cycle, the CO2 contained in the woood itself iss deducted from f the am mount of CO O2 emitted duuring the diisposal phase [66], specificaally from thhe wood waste incineraation. In adddition, land--filling wood waste should be b avoided,, because off toxin CH4 leakage from the woodd waste to thhe landfill [2].  Figure 2. Co ontribution too the environnmental impaact categories by PVC annd timber woood. (A Arrow points at global waarming contribution of tim mber wood.) Adapted: I. Blom B et al., 2010, p.2536  xi     mpares the green g housee gas emissiions due to wood and vinyl v floorinng Figure 3 below com materiaal, with PVC C being the main constiituents of viinyl flooringg. From thee figure, it iss observeed that wood den flooringg in fact gennerates far less l green house h gases than PVC flooring, f except iin the case of o NOx. However, up to 90% of NO N x can be eliminated e using u the tecchnique of reburrning [12].  Figure 3. Em missions to aiir per functioonal unit (yeaar and m’) vinyl and woood flooring material. m Adapted: Å. Jösson J et al., 1996, 1 p.253  2.2  ENERGY CONSUMPTION The section n below com mpares the energy e consumptions of PVC and wood, w startiing with  a descriiption of thee energy connsumption during d the life l cycle off PVC, folloowed by anaalysis of the enerrgy consum mption durinng the life cyycle of woood. 2.2.1  PVC C  ws the totall energy connsumption of o PVC mannufacture peer unit kg. Table 4 below show  Table 4. Tottal resource of o energy connsumed from m PVC manu ufacture (per kg productioon).  Adapted: Brown et al., 20000, p.A4-2  xii     Table 5 below show ws the totall energy connsumed duriing PVC incineration. In comparinng Table 4 and Table 5, it is seenn that incineeration makees up over 90% 9 of the energy e consum mption in thee life cycle of o PVC. Table 5. Total energyy and resourrces consumeed from PVC C incinerationn.  Adapted:: Brown et al.,, 2000, p.53  wed insignifiicant amounnt of energyy consumptiion due to PVC P land-fillling. Our research show nergy consuumption occurs during PVC P manuffacturing an nd PVC Therefoore, most en incineraation. Althoough possiblle solutionss such as meechanical reecycling are available too eliminaate incinerattion, they arre too expen nsive to be implemente i ed [10]. Instead, over 700% of PVC waaste is discaarded with cheap c dispoosal methods [14], suchh as incineraated and lanndfilling [[10]. Also, incineration i n is needed to t destroy thhe plasticizeers in PVC [10].  2.2.2  Wood On the otheer hand, reseearch showss that woodd productionn consumes 52% less  electricity and 79% % less fossill fuels than PVC P produuction [2]. However, H thiis is only crredible if woodd waste is inncinerated after use [100]. This is beecause by inncineration,, heat generrated can be reused r in wood producction [5]. Whhen energy is reused thhroughout thhe life cyclee, amountts of green house h gas em missions annd waste aree reduced. According A too [5], emission of CO2, NO and SO2 are a reducedd to below th he limit of the t Kyoto Protocol. P In addition, concenttrations of all a heavy meetals were reduced r to loower than th he Kyoto Prrotocol’s lim mits, which is 0.5 mg/g. Toxic gas emission e lev vels were also below thhe legislativve limit valuue, mption durin ng the life cyycle of which is 100 pg/N..m³. Table 6 below shoows the enerrgy consum m this table also shows energy recovery from incineration. wood fllooring. Thee result from Table 6. Total ennergy consum mption of thee life cycle of o wood floorring (per 7.4kg). xiii     Adappted: Å. Jössoon et al., 1996, p.252  Figure 4 below com mpares the unit u energy consumptioons during the t life cyclles of woodd and PVC floooring. From m the figuree, it is obserrved that alm most 80% of o energy coonsumption of wood fllooring is reecovered, whereas w only y about 40% % energy con nsumption of o vinyl flooring is recoverred.  Figure 4. Ennergy use perr functional unit u (year andd m’) vinyl and a wood floooring materiial. Adapted: Å. Jösson J et al., 1996, 1 p.253  2.3  W WASTE CO ONTRUCT TION The sectionn below com mpares the energy e conssumptions of o PVC and wood, starting  with a ddescription of the energgy consumpption duringg the life cyccle of PVC,, followed by b an analysiss of the enerrgy consum mption durin ng the life cyycle of woood. 2.3.1  PVC Land-fillingg is the leasst preferred way to mannage PVC waste, w becauuse of its lonng term  uncertainties, such as politicall situations and legal noorms [7]. However, H thiis method iss still o PVC wastte, as shownn in Table 7 below, beccause it is thhe used to dispose of over 80% of a cheapesst demolitioon method. easiest and Table 7. Fraactions of PV VC waste in different d typee of solid waaste and landffilled portionn. xiv     Adapted: I. Mersiowsky, M 20002, p. 2237  Becausee a large poortion of PV VC waste is land-filled, it is subjectt to bio-corrrosion and decompposition duee to high tem mperature an nd biodegraadation [3]. At high tem mperatures over o 70°C, plasticizers p in i the PVC waste are reeleased, cauusing the leaachate of phhthalates, ass well as tiny ppieces of brrittle PVC [3]. Phthalattes released then emit green g housee gases. Thee toxins releasedd into the laandfill then cause abiotic depletionn.  2.3.2  Wood Figure 5 beelow compaares the wastte generatedd during thee life cycless of wood annd vinyl  flooringg. From the figure, it iss observed th hat wood crreates almost 90% less waste than PVC. There are a some thaat would arggue that the paint on woood might corrode c the environmennt Howeveer, accordinng to [6], thee paint doess not affect the environnment signifficantly. Mooreover, “low-soolvent paint” is recomm mended due to the healtth aspects of o workers.  Figure 5. Waaste generatiion per functtional unit (yyear and m’) vinyl and woood flooring maaterial. Adapted: Å. Jösson J et al., 1996, 1 p.253  xv     In conclusion, wood generates less green house gases and waste, in addition to consuming less energy than PVC. Therefore wood is shown to be a more environmentallyfriendly material for buildings, when compared to PVC. The following section talks about the economic impacts of PVC.  3.0  ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF PVC AND WOOD  One of the main reasons PVC is used in buildings is because it is cheap. However, maintenance and replacement costs, which are overlooked many times, may actually cause PVC to be more expensive than other materials. Also, PVC is cheap compared to some newer, better materials since it has the advantage of mass production, but this may change. PVC has a number of uses in construction. In this section, evaluations of PVC and alternatives are made for windows, roofing, piping, and flooring. 3.1  PVC IN WINDOWS Window frames and shutters can be made out of PVC, but some alternatives are wood,  aluminum, and fiberglass. Windows may degrade due to environmental conditions such as temperature, sun exposure, and humidity.  A survey estimating the average lifetime of some different window types [13] showed PVC to last 24.1 years, timber 39.6 years, aluminum 43.6 years, and aluminum clad timber 46.7 years. Wood is the most expensive in terms of maintenance, since it requires painting every few years, and may rot. PVC windows require cleaning with alkaline detergents every six months. Aluminum requires little maintenance; for example, it may only need to be painted 20 years after first installed. Wood is easy to install and repair, while PVC windows are difficult to repair when damaged and may need to be replaced entirely. PVC is also sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, as well as UV rays from the sun. Aluminum clad timber is easy to repair, and requires little maintenance since the wood is protected from  xvi     environmental degradation. Fiberglass windows also require little maintenance, but may pose some health issues. 3.2  PVC IN ROOFING Single-ply roofing systems have lower cost and are easier to install than other roofing  systems. In single-ply low-slope roofing, PVC is one of the three cheapest and most common materials used, along with Elastomer Polyolefin (TPO) and Ethylene Propylene (EPDM).  PVC has been promoted because of its reflectivity; it is able to reflect sunlight which will lowers building temperatures, reducing the cost of air conditioning. However, TPO and EPDM can also be white, and share this advantage. There are also studies speculating that roof color may have little effect on energy costs for buildings in northern climates, since absorbing the sunlight may be more efficient than reflecting it, and roofs covered in snow can already reflect sunlight. Even if reflection does make a difference, PVC has no real advantage.  PVC also has the shortest average lifetime compared to other roofing materials. PVC contains plasticizers which help make it flexible, but these plasticizers separate over time and the PVC becomes brittle, causing seams in the roof to fail. It also becomes brittle in cold temperatures. TPO is flexible, even in cold weather. EPDM is resistant to UV rays and weathering, unlike PVC.  Even worse, Figure 6 below showed that PVC roofs also cost more to install than TPO or EPDM roofs. PVC roofing is more expensive and has no advantage over other materials, so there is no good reason to use it.  xvii     Figure 66. Roofing In nstallation Coosts in Austinn Adapted:: Ackerman ett al., 2003, p.221  3.3  PVC IN PIIPING Pipes in buildings makke up almosst half of all PVC use. PVC P is usuaally the cheaapest  material, bu ut the most cost-effectiv c ve solution depends on n the specific situation. For piping m example, the materrial cost of undergroun u nd pipes mayy be insigniificant comppared to thee cost of w have little l advanttage. PVC is generally weaker thaan other matterials diggingg, so PVC would under hhigh pressurre and below w-freezing temperature t es, resulting in more breeaks and leaaks. PVC is often comppared to tradditional matterials and plastics p suchh as Polyethhylene (PE).  i concreete, and vitrrified clay. Copper C Traditional piping matterials incluude copper, iron, is a stanndard for hoot and cold water w pipes, and iron oor concrete may m be used d for sewer pipes. xviii     Compared to PVC, traditional materials are stronger under extreme temperature and pressure. However, for large diameter pipes, they are heavier and more difficult to install and repair.  PE is one of the most important piping alternatives to PVC. PE pipes have the benefit of being stronger under high pressure and below-freezing temperatures, and are far less toxic than PVC. For hot water pipes, one would use modified plastics: Chlorinated PVC (CPVC) instead of PVC or Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). PE pipes require more labor to install than PVC since it is a newer material. However, the material cost of PE pipes is nearly the same as that of PVC pipes. PEX costs slightly more than CPVC, but its installation cost is far less.  PVC piping is usually cheaper than alternatives, but PVC-free piping is affordable and more effective. It is clear that PVC can be avoided in this case.  3.4  PVC IN FLOORING  PVC flooring is a type of resilient flooring, meaning it is stain- and water-resistant. Other types of resilient flooring are linoleum, cork, rubber, and other polymers, each with individual advantages. Linoleum is anti-static and anti-bacterial. Cork tiles which are waxed with every few years can last for a long time. Rubber sheets or tiles can affect indoor air quality, but requires little maintenance. Stratica, a non-vinyl polymer flooring, is nonallergenic, and mildew- and odor-resistant. It is also easily recyclable.  PVC is chosen for its initial low cost even though its maintenance costs usually make it the most expensive choice. Table 8 below shows that vinyl flooring (which contains PVC), has both the shortest life spans and highest overall maintenance cost when compared to the alternatives. In the case that a building requires resilient flooring, PVC can be avoided.  Table 8. Life cycle costs of flooring (per square foot)  xix     Adaptedd: Ackerman et e al., 2003, p.224  In conclusion, PVC is the worst choice for alll building components c s, including ws, roofing, piping, andd flooring. In n particularrly, PVC wiindows are sensitive s to window temperaature, yet haard to repairr. PVC rooffs and floorss also cost much m higherr though theey have the shorrtest life tim me, compareed to other roofing r and flooring materials. In addition, PV VC piping iis more expensive and less effectiv ve, compareed to PVC-ffree piping. Furthermorre, the followinng section talks t about the t social im mpacts of PVC.  xx     4.0  SOCIAL IMPACTS OF PVC  This section describes the social impacts of PVC. It focuses on the historical development of the PVC industry, followed by health care hazards due to the use of PVC. This section also further explains the multiple solutions created by PVC manufacturers to confront the opposition by society due to the PVC-induced health hazards. 4.1  HISTORICAL IMPLICATIONS AND ANTAGONISM TOWARDS PVC INDUSTRY In order to see difficulties associated with the situation of PVC elimination,  understanding historical development of PVC, one of the most criticized plastics on the planet, is essential. Today, the term PVC is widely used in public. However, the majority of people do not see the big picture behind this acronym. In fact, PVC is one of the celebrities of the plastic family due to its cheapness and extensive attributes. According to [11], PVC is one of the most mass produced and used plastic materials with a long and intricate history. The beginning of the twentieth century was signified with a noticeable surplus of chemicals from acetylene and chlorine industries [11]. This excess resulted in the search of ways to utilize chemicals for more functional and practical compounds, and hence PVC was born. According to [11], at the first stages, PVC was a brittle and unstable material that had particular potential in exploiting chlorine. The industry was facing numerous complications with demonstrating better functionality. “The material was difficult to process, and even when it was, consumers judged the product to be inferior” [11]. The popularity and acceptance of the new material with better flexibility and thermal resistivity came after the introduction of highly toxic plasticizers and fire redundant additives. During this period of time, multiple environmental organizations appeared on the horizon of the rising industry. PVC’s inseparable connection with the chlorine industry and numerous diseases raised consciousness and directed antagonism that had historically unsustainable momentum that has been proved by scientific experiments [9]. As the name implies, eliminating chlorine from PVC is impossible “since polar nature of polymer which enables PVC accept very wide range of additives that all other plastics on the market is due to the presence of chlorine atoms” [9].  xxi     4.2  HEALTH CARE PROBLEMS Availability of PVC as the best material on the emerging market of polymers was the  leading factor of the intense spread of factories all around the world. In 1960, in Miamata Bay in Japan, people started showing symptoms of “nervous disease” which resulted from consuming seafood with the presence of mercury that was the post product of a neighbouring vinyl chloride (VC) factory [11]. Even long before these incidents, there were clear indications of possible harmful effects associated with VC. The first publication confirming high toxicity and multiple disorders in screening animals appeared in 1938 [11]. By the middle of the twentieth century, acro-osteolysis and Raynaud’s Syndrome were ailments common to workers of vinyl industry [11]. In the next twenty years, an investigation on PVC, by a physicist and employee of the PVC industry, published the verdict that “VC caused angiosarcoma in the liver, kidneys, and ears of test animals” [11]. By 1995, 175 incidents of atypical liver cancer and higher rates of miscarriages in workers’ families were recorded [11]. These and many other circumstances triggered immediate reaction within the industry on “reducing exposure, concentrations and emission” [11] and saving the product from further accusations.  4.3  SUCCESSFUL ELIMINATION OF PVC FROM FOOD PACKAGING IN NETHERLANDS  When the PVC industry expanded to the food market by taking part in food packaging, a series of consequences were observed. Incineration of PVC slowly started to disrupt ecosystems of neighboring grasslands. There werenumerous detections of highly hazardous toxins, for example, dioxin in the milk of cows [11]. This incident raised a massive anti-PVC campaign with the collaboration of 8 environmental and consumer organizations. While establishing serious policies on food, national retailers of food took immediate actions on replacing and banning PVC. According to [11], the PVC industry convinced the government that all problems had a direct relation to the chlorine waste. It was a close and dangerous call for the enterprise where an accelerated action on foregoing the use of PVC in packaging was the only chance of surviving and safeguarding the heart of the industry [11]. It took less than a year to remove and replace PVC packaging [11]; therefore, successful elimination of PVC in the food system shows us the potential power behind consumers and officially organized masses.  xxii     4.4  HOW INDUSTRY DEALS WITH CONFRONTATIONS  Having more than 50 years of continuous engagement with various environmental and health problems, [11] points out different managing strategies successfully implemented by the PVC industry. Continuous attempts of moderating, redefining and translating critical problems of smaller notability and “quick surrender for the sake of system [11]” for serious drawbacks are conventional ways of dealing with obstacles. In conclusion, unambiguous understanding of consumer’s power must be present in the mindset of every global citizen because dealing with corporations of high authority results in small changes. Living in purchasing and dumping lifecycle will only empower industry for further development and indestructibility. Small and unorganized actions will simply strengthen and prepare industry for further defence; therefore, the simple and effective solution will be to avoid PVC usage and to promote alternative materials to public by showing possibility of building and living without endangering the ecosystem. Meanwhile recycling has been pushed to the back and as a result we are observing huge landfills and oceans full of unnatural waste nowadays. It is time to take actions to alter our perception of PVC as the only solution for cheap and reliable construction.  xxiii     5.0 CONCLUSION The second section of the report showed that wood is a more environmentally friendly building material than PVC since the production of wood requires less energy and produces less greenhouse gases than the production of PVC. The majority of PVC waste ends up in landfills, while wood is biodegradable and creates significantly lower amounts of waste.  The third section of the report demonstrated that for any specific use for PVC in a building, there are usually better alternatives. PVC may initially be cheaper than alternative materials, but in many cases PVC ends up costing more due to maintenance and replacement.  The fourth section of the report referred to the history of PVC to lay out the antagonism of PVC that leads health problems such as cancer.  Therefore in overall, PVC is harmful to the environment and health of individuals. Hence use of PVC in the new SUB can be avoided in place of more efficient building materials which are still affordable.  xxiv     REFERENCES [1] [2]  [3]  [4] [5] [6]  [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]  A. Jijnsson, “Life Cycle Assessment of Flooring Materials: Case Study,” Building, vol. 32, 1997, pp. 245-255. A.K. Petersen and B. Solberg, “Environmental and economic impacts of substitution between wood products and alternative materials: a review of micro-level analyses from Norway and Sweden,” Forest Policy and Economics, vol. 7, Mar. 2005, pp. 249259. E.C. Peereboom, R. Kleijn, S. Lemkowitz, and S. Lundie, “Influence of Inventory Data Sets on Life-Cycle Assessment Results: A Case Study on PVC,” Journal of Industrial Ecology, vol. 2, 1999. F. Ackerman and R. Massey, The Economics of Phasing Out PVC, Massachusetts: Tufts University, Dec. 2003. G. Skodras, “Evaluation of the environmental impact of waste wood co-utilisation for energy production,” Energy, vol. 29, Dec. 2004, pp. 2181-2193. I. Blom, L. Itard, and A. Meijer, “Environmental impact of dwellings in use: Maintenance of façade components,” Building and Environment, vol. 45, Nov. 2010, pp. 2526-2538. I. Mersiowsky, “Long-term fate of PVC products and their additives in landfills,” Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 27, 2002, pp. 2227-2277. “IPCC 4th Assessment Report,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pp. 82. J. Leadbitter, “PVC and sustainability,” Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 27, 2002, pp. 2197–2226. K.A. Brown, M.R. Holland, R.A. Boyd, S. Thresh, H. Jones, and S.M. Ogilvie, Economic Evaluation of PVC Waste Management, 2000. K. Mulder and M. Knot, “PVC plastic: a history of systems development and entrenchment,” Technology in Society, vol. 23, 2001, pp. 265-286. L.D. Smoot, S.C. Hill, and H. Xu, “NOx Control Through Reburning,” Science, vol. 24, 1998, pp. 385-408. M. Asif, A. Davidson and T.Muneer, Life Cycle of Window Materials - A Comparative Assessment, Edinburgh: Napier University. M. Baitz, J. Kreissig, and C. Makishi, “Life cycle assessment of PVC in product optimisation and green procurement – fact-based decisions towards sustainable solutions,” Plastics, Rubber and Composites, vol. 34, Mar. 2005, pp. 95-98.  xxv     APPENDIX Paradox behind human creations for “better life” For the last few centuries human kind was eager to design, generate and fabricate new technologies putting down time, money, energy and even lives; however, there is no exceptional achievement without drawbacks. Around a century ago was the birth of PVC, material without foreseeable future, people believed in superior qualities of polymer. Paradoxically even the temporary pause after the World War ||, when most of the projects on PVC development around the globe were seized, did not terminate polymer’s sensational history regardless of plastic’s inferior qualities. With the introduction of plasticizers and fire retardant additives PVC was under continuous pressure from environmental organizations but apparently plastic finds in niche in our lives. Interesting collaboration between corporations without habitual competition probably due to the PVC’s tendency to decomposition: Entering the market: 1920 Du Pont, 1926 ICI (Imperial Chemical Industry, a subsidiary of AkzoNobel), 1928 Rhône – Poulenc. Functionality of primary products created opportunity for business: Shock absorber seals, tank linings, coated textile (raincoats and shower curtains). Expansibility of PVC followed to flooring, roofing and electrical cable industry almost simultaneously. “Products smell, sweat, the print comes off and they become brittle” however people was still purchasing different merchandise due to the visible physical difference, people most probably were driven by attractiveness of material. (Getting bored with common goodsç èneed for new products) Going beyond your limits When the PVC industry entered the food packaging market, industry did a big mistake by crossing personal values of humanity (health). Going beyond your limits and securing almost 100% of your market after multiple addressed attacks shows that PVC might not be the best example of plastic family but industry represents successful strategies, incredible improvements and continuous development. Finding the balance between scarce resources and growing population Having many opinions regarding “human nature equilibrium”, stating the truth and predicting the outcome is always difficult and often inaccurate activity that needs justification and realization of many factors, but right now there is only one concern – there is too much plastic in our world! xxvi     xxvii     

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