Vinyl chloride is used to make PVC plastic, an attractive material to designers and consumers because of its durability, versatility, and low cost. Over 30 billion pounds of vinyl chloride are produced every year, and used to make everything from vinyl siding and PVC plumbing pipe to medical IV bags and vinyl records.
Unfortunately, in addition to being one of the most ubiquitous chemicals on the market, vinyl chloride is also one of the most toxic—a human carcinogen that is 1,000 times more toxic than Lead.
Short-term exposure to vinyl chloride gas causes headaches, dizziness, fainting, and—at high concentrations—death. Long-term exposure causes permanent liver damage, immune reactions, dissolving of the terminal bones of the fingers, nerve damage, and cancer.