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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 2010-11-30

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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 Three- Bottom-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”. i         An Investigation into the Life Cycle of PVC and its Alternatives using Three- Bottom-Line Assessment Group G: Red-Listed Materials       Song Ci Tee Yerzhan Nursultanov Russell Vanderhout ii    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.      iii    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 iv    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          v    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 A disease resulted in constriction of blood vessel, characterized by highly sensitive, cold and prickling fingers   Reburning: 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 vi    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                                   vii    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                viii    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.       terms o resourc phase [2 three m consum 2.1 Climate “absorb radiatio of green hydroge  of PVC incinera green h contribu from in  2.0 EN In this repo f impact on e acquireme ]. More sp ain environ ption and w GREEN H The green h  Change (IP  and emit r n emitted b  house gas n chloride 2.1.1 PVC Figure 1 (be . This sectio tion and la ouse gas em tion to gre cinerating P                  VIRONM rt, a life cyc the environ nt phase, th ecifically, t mental aspe aste constr OUSE GA ouse gases CC) asses adiation at s y the Earth es are carbo (HCl) and d  low) show n of the re ndfill dispo issions occ en house ga VC waste.                   ENTAL le analysis ment durin e producti he followin cts: green uction. S EMISSIO  are defined sment repor pecific wav ’s surface, t n dioxide ( ust [8]. s the amoun port focuse sal. As obs urs during s emission               ix   IMPAC  (LCA) is p g their entir on phase, th g environm house gas e N AND G  as, accord t user guid elengths w he atmosph CO2), nitro t of green s specifical erved from the product s occurs dur TS OF P erformed th e life cycle e use phas ental comp mission and LOBAL W ing to the In e, natural an ithin the sp ere itself, a gen oxides house gase ly on the m Figure 1, th ion phase [ ing the disp VC AND at compare s. This life e and the re arison is na  global wa ARMING tergovernm d synthetic ectrum of t nd by cloud (NOx), met s emitted du anufacturin e largest co 10]. The se osal phase  WOOD s PVC to w cycle inclu cycling/dis rrowed dow rming, ener  ental Pane  gases that hermal infr s” [8]. Exa hane (CH4) ring the lif g process, ntribution cond larges  [10], prim ood in des the posal n into gy l on ared mples , e cycle to t arily    (kg/tonn   Table 1 manufa  Table 1. Adapted:   Table 2 Accord burden landfills   In addit This is b to recyc money    Figure 1. Gr e) Source: Brow  below show cturing PVC  Green hous  Brown et al.,  below show ing to [3], l of producin . Table 2. Gre Adapted: Bro  ion, althoug ecause it i le used PV on recyclin eenhouse ga n et al., 2000 s the amou . e gas emitted  2000, p.52 s the amou andfill disp g 1 kg of P en house ga wn et al., 200 h recycling s much che C [6]. In ot g.  s emissions , p.55 nt of speci  from PVC nt of green osal contrib VC is much s emitted fro 0, p.53   PVC is po aper to prod her words, x  from PVC w fic green h manufacture  house gas utes the lea  larger tha m PVC inci ssible, only uce PVC p the manufa aste manage ouse gases p , kg/tonnes es emitted d st CO2 emi n that of dis neration.  30% of PV roducts wit cturing fact ment and re roduced w of compound uring PVC ssion; the n posing of 1 C waste is h primary r ories see no sin manufac hile .  waste inci et environm  kg of PVC  recycled [ esources, th  reason to ture  neration. ental  in  10]. an it is spend   contribu From ou house g              Accord provide contain phase [6 should b    2.1.2 Wo The amoun tions come r calculatio ases compa Tab           Adap  ing to Figur d it is not la ed in the wo ], specifica e avoided,         Figure 2. Co       (A Adapted: I. B od  t of the gree  from the r n based on red to the a le 3. Total gr ted: Å. Jösso e 2 (below) nd-filled d od itself is lly from th  because of ntribution to rrow points lom et al., 20 n house ga esource acq  Table 2 an mount of g een house g n et al., 1996 , wood con uring dispo  deducted f e wood wa  toxin CH4  the environ at global wa 10, p.2536 xi  ses emitted uirement p d Table 3, reen house ases emissio , p.252 tributes neg sal [2]. Thi rom the am ste incinera leakage fro mental impa rming contr  is shown in hase, such a wood contr gases emitt n per 7.4kg  atively tow s is because ount of CO tion. In add m the wood ct categorie ibution of tim  Table 3 b s sawmill, ibutes abou ed by PVC wood. ards globa  during the 2 emitted du ition, land-  waste to th s by PVC an ber wood.) elow. The l and transpo t 86% less .   l warming,  life cycle, ring the di filling woo e landfill [ d timber wo  argest rtation. green the CO2 sposal d waste 2].  od.      Figure 3 materia observe except i of rebur  2.2 a descri the ener  Table 4     below com l, with PVC d that wood n the case o ning [12].  Figure 3. Em Adapted: Å. J   ENERGY The section ption of the gy consum 2.2.1 PVC  below show Table 4. Tot Adapted: Bro pares the g  being the en flooring f NOx. Ho issions to ai össon et al., 1 CONSUM  below com  energy con ption durin  s the total al resource o wn et al., 200 reen house main consti  in fact gen wever, up t r per functio 996, p.253 PTION pares the e sumption d g the life cy  energy con f energy con 0, p.A4-2 xii   gas emissi tuents of vi erates far l o 90% of N nal unit (yea  nergy cons uring the l cle of woo sumption o sumed from ons due to nyl flooring ess green h Ox can be e r and m’) v umptions o ife cycle of d. f PVC man  PVC manu wood and v . From the ouse gases liminated u inyl and woo f PVC and w  PVC, follo ufacture pe facture (per inyl floorin  figure, it is than PVC f sing the tec d flooring m ood, starti wed by ana r unit kg.  kg productio g  looring, hnique   aterial. ng with lysis of n).          Table 5 Table 4 consum Table 5. Adapted:  Our res Therefo incinera elimina PVC wa filling [  2.2.2  electric if wood can be r amount CO2, N concent which i which i wood fl  below show  and Table ption in the  Total energy  Brown et al., earch show re, most en tion. Altho te incinerat ste is disca 10]. Also, i Wood On the othe ity and 79%  waste is in eused in w s of green h O and SO2 a rations of a s 0.5 mg/g. s 100 pg/N. ooring. The Tab s the total 5, it is seen  life cycle o  and resour  2000, p.53 ed insignifi ergy consu ugh possibl ion, they ar rded with c ncineration r hand, rese  less fossil cinerated a ood produc ouse gas em re reduced ll heavy me Toxic gas e m³. Table 6  result from le 6. Total en  energy con  that incine f PVC. ces consume  cant amoun mption occ e solutions e too expen heap dispo  is needed t arch shows  fuels than P fter use [10 tion [5]. Wh issions an  to below th tals were r mission lev  below sho  this table ergy consum xiii  sumed duri ration make d from PVC t of energy urs during P  such as me sive to be i sal method o destroy th  that wood VC produ ]. This is be en energy d waste are e limit of t educed to lo els were a ws the ener also shows ption of the ng PVC in s up over 9  incineration  consumpti VC manuf chanical re mplemente s [14], such e plasticize  production ction [2]. H cause by in is reused th  reduced. A he Kyoto P wer than th lso below th gy consum  energy rec  life cycle o cineration. 0% of the e . on due to P acturing an cycling are d [10]. Inst  as incinera rs in PVC  consumes owever, thi cineration, roughout th ccording to rotocol. In e Kyoto Pr e legislativ ption durin overy from f wood floor In comparin nergy VC land-fil d PVC  available to ead, over 70 ted and lan [10]. 52% less s is only cr  heat gener e life cycle  [5], emiss addition, otocol’s lim e limit valu g the life cy incineratio ing (per 7.4 g  ling.  % of d- edible ated , ion of its, e, cle of n.    kg).   Figure 4 PVC flo wood fl recover    2.3      W  with a d analysis 2.3.1 uncerta used to easiest a  Adap  below com oring. From ooring is re ed. Figure 4. En Adapted: Å. J ASTE CO The section escription  of the ener PVC  Land-filling inties, such dispose of nd cheapes Table 7. Fra ted: Å. Jösso pares the u  the figure covered, w ergy use per össon et al., 1 NTRUCT  below com of the energ gy consum  is the leas as political over 80% o t demolitio ctions of PV n et al., 1996 nit energy , it is obser hereas only  functional u 996, p.253 ION  pares the e y consump ption durin t preferred  situations f PVC wast n method. C waste in d xiv  , p.252 consumptio ved that alm  about 40% nit (year and  nergy cons tion during g the life cy way to man and legal no e, as shown ifferent type  ns during t ost 80% o  energy con  m’) vinyl a umptions o  the life cyc cle of woo age PVC w rms [7]. H  in Table 7  of solid wa he life cycl f energy co sumption o nd wood flo f PVC and le of PVC, d. aste, becau owever, thi  below, bec ste and landf  es of wood nsumption f vinyl flo oring materi wood, start  followed b se of its lon s method is ause it is th illed portion  and of oring is  al. ing y an g term  still e .   Because decomp 70°C, p as tiny p released  2.3.2  flooring There a Howeve “low-so    Adapted: I. M  a large po osition due lasticizers i ieces of br  into the la Wood  Figure 5 be . From the re some tha r, accordin lvent paint Figure 5. Wa     ma Adapted: Å. J ersiowsky, 20 rtion of PV  to high tem n the PVC ittle PVC [ ndfill then low compa figure, it is t would arg g to [6], the ” is recomm ste generati terial. össon et al., 1 02, p. 2237 C waste is perature an waste are re 3]. Phthalat cause abiot res the wast  observed th ue that the  paint does ended due on per funct 996, p.253 xv  land-filled, d biodegra leased, cau es released ic depletion e generated at wood cr paint on wo  not affect to the healt ional unit (y  it is subject dation [3]. sing the lea then emit g .   during the eates almo od might c the environ h aspects o ear and m’)  to bio-corr At high tem chate of ph reen house  life cycles st 90% less orrode the ment signif f workers.  vinyl and wo osion and peratures o thalates, as  gases. The  of wood an waste than environmen icantly. Mo  od flooring  ver  well  toxins d vinyl  PVC. t reover,  xvi     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 environmentally- friendly 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 xvii    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.     Figure 6 Adapted:        3.3  piping m exampl digging under h PVC is is a stan . Roofing In  Ackerman et PVC IN PI Pipes in bu aterial, bu e, the mater , so PVC w igh pressur often comp  Traditional dard for ho stallation Co  al., 2003, p.2 PING ildings mak t the most c ial cost of u ould have l e and below ared to trad piping mat t and cold w sts in Austin 1  e up almos ost-effectiv ndergroun ittle advant -freezing t itional mat erials inclu ater pipes xviii   t half of all e solution d pipes may age. PVC i emperature erials and p de copper, i , and iron o  PVC use. P depends on  be insigni s generally s, resulting lastics such ron, concre r concrete m VC is usua  the specifi ficant comp weaker tha in more bre  as Polyeth te, and vitr ay be used lly the chea c situation. ared to the n other mat aks and lea ylene (PE) ified clay. C  for sewer pest For  cost of erials ks. . opper pipes.  xix    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 non- allergenic, 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)    Adapted    window tempera the shor piping i followin                       : Ackerman e In conclusi s, roofing, ture, yet ha test life tim s more exp g section t t al., 2003, p.2 on, PVC is piping, and rd to repair e, compare ensive and alks about t 4  the worst c  flooring. In . PVC roof d to other r less effectiv he social im xx  hoice for al  particular s and floors oofing and e, compare pacts of P l building c ly, PVC wi  also cost m flooring m d to PVC-f VC. omponents ndows are s uch higher aterials. In ree piping. , including ensitive to  though the addition, PV Furthermor y have C e, the xxi    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].     xxii    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.  xxiii    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.                         xxiv    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.                          xxv       REFERENCES  [1] A. Jijnsson, “Life Cycle Assessment of Flooring Materials: Case Study,” Building, vol. 32, 1997, pp. 245-255. [2] 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. 249- 259. [3] 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. [4] F. Ackerman and R. Massey, The Economics of Phasing Out PVC, Massachusetts: Tufts University, Dec. 2003.  [5] G. Skodras, “Evaluation of the environmental impact of waste wood co-utilisation for energy production,” Energy, vol. 29, Dec. 2004, pp. 2181-2193. [6] 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. [7] I. Mersiowsky, “Long-term fate of PVC products and their additives in landfills,” Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 27, 2002, pp. 2227-2277. [8]  “IPCC 4th Assessment Report,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pp. 82. [9] J. Leadbitter, “PVC and sustainability,” Progress in Polymer Science, vol. 27, 2002, pp. 2197–2226.  [10] K.A. Brown, M.R. Holland, R.A. Boyd, S. Thresh, H. Jones, and S.M. Ogilvie, Economic Evaluation of PVC Waste Management, 2000. [11]  K. Mulder and M. Knot, “PVC plastic: a history of systems development and entrenchment,” Technology in Society, vol. 23, 2001, pp. 265-286.  [12] L.D. Smoot, S.C. Hill, and H. Xu, “NOx Control Through Reburning,” Science, vol. 24, 1998, pp. 385-408. [13] M. Asif, A. Davidson and T.Muneer, Life Cycle of Window Materials - A Comparative Assessment, Edinburgh: Napier University.  [14] 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.         xxvi    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!     xxvii             

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