CEH in the News: The ‘Poison Plastic’ and the Ohio Train Derailment
Vinyl chloride has been in the news since the Feb. 3. But the hazardous substance has been around for decades and is everywhere – from buildings and vehicle upholstery to children’s toys and kitchen supplies – and factories have been emitting the EPA-designated toxic chemical into the air for years.
Dr. Jimena Díaz Leiva, Science Director at CEH, was interviewed by CBS News and The Intercept on this topic.
“This disaster is really a wakeup call,” Díaz Leiva told CBS News. “…There needs to be a lot more regulatory oversight and action to address not just the safety and the actual transport around these chemicals, but also just stemming our production of all these chemicals.”
Vinyl chloride is the “essential building block of PVC plastic,” Díaz Leiva said.
“It’s an incredibly dirty process that emits a lot of chemicals and uses a lot of chemicals in the manufacturing process, resulting in a lot of worker exposures and also exposures of people in frontline and fenceline communities,” Díaz Leiva, who got her Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management, said. “…PVC is called the poison plastic.”