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A new kind of plastic that is toxin-free and biodegradable? Crazy right! TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is a GREEN product and does not cause air pollution, even when its burned (or recycled).
Get this, TPU is biodegradable after leaving it in the soil for 3-5 years. This material is best used to replace PVC or vinyl, and it is certified by the FDA and meets the National Science Foundation’s strict standards. Furthermore, TPU is in wide use across the medical field.
TPU is tough like PVC, but does not contain lead or other toxins. So why should I replace all of the PVC products in my house you ask? Read on 🙂
A Bit About PVC:
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a major source of phthalates. In 2008, the state of New Jersey passed a law banning phthalates from children’s toys. According to the State’s Department of Human Services Office for Prevention of Developmental Disabilities,
“Phthalates harm children’s health and development by interfering with natural hormone functioning and have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems, and early onset of puberty in girls – which is a risk factor for later-life breast cancer.“
Moreover, they go on to discuss how PVC plastic contains dangerous chemical additives including lead, cadmium, and organotins. These toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time.
Many mundane household items are made with PVC such as lunchboxes, backpacks, bags, binders, bottles, toys, televisions, flooring, art, and sports equipment.
PVC plastic products are often labeled with the words “vinyl” on the packaging.
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PVC Plastic Releases Toxic Fumes When it is Recycled:
PVC can also be identified by looking for the number “3” inside of the universal recycle symbol (or the letters “V” or “PVC”).
Although products that are made of PVC are labeled with a recycling sign, it is actually very difficult to recycle.
The process of recycling PVC includes heating the plastic to high temperatures so that it can be reshaped.
During the recycling process, PVC releases toxic fumes that waft out into the atmosphere. This increases air pollution and later infiltrates the soil through acid rain.
Be sure to keep reading to learn about how shower curtains release 108 toxic chemicals.
Moreover, The EPA considers acid rain to be highly toxic to humans. Not only do we breathe air pollution, but we also consume it through our water and the food web.
Much of our food stock eats pounds of grain that have soaked up acid rain through the soil. This is called bioaccumulation. When we consume chicken that eats lots of polluted corn meal or grain, the pollutants travel up the food chain, and this is called biomagnification.
I have included the two photos below to help illustrate how biomagnification and bioaccumulation occurs:
PVC Plastic Releasing Toxic Fumes in Your Home:
Back in 2008, Occupational Health and Safty (ohsonline.com) wrote an article reporting how dangerous PVC shower curtains are.
“Results from a two-phase study released by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), and a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing environmental health harms caused by chemical threats, show that shower curtains made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic contain many harmful chemicals including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotins…
The article goes on to state that one PVC shower curtain can release as many as 108 volatile chemicals. These chemicals can cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
Furthermore, this study found that PVC shower curtains release high levels of toxic chemicals into the air and contribute significantly to indoor air pollution.
Of the chemicals that are released, seven are classified as hazardous air pollutants by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.
PVC is the second largest commodity plastic in production by global standards. Even though this study was released more than a decade ago, production of PVC has not declined significantly. Sadly, nearly 15 billion pounds are being produced annually in the U.S.
This is why it is so important for the consumer to educate themselves about the products they purchase and the companies that they support.
Think about all of the PVC or plastic products that are in your household today!
Scary to think about.
TPU-The Sustainable Eco-Friendly Alternative:
TPU is abrasion resistant, flexible, has excellent strength, and functions well in low temperatures.
A quick search of the internet will reveal that TPU is a very under-utilized material, while PVC is still the dominant plastic product offered.
So how do we get manufacturers to boost product lines that include TPU over PVC?
Manufacturers respond to signals from the market. When customers buy more of a product, it signals to the manufacturer to produce more of that item.
We, the conscious consumer, must send the right signals to the market about which products we want companies to offer.
By purchasing healthy, non-toxic, environmentally friendly products, we signal to the market that there is a demand for these kinds of items.
So on that note, I want to introduce two products that are made from TPU.
Curious, when is the last time you replaced your cutting board?
Over time, cutting boards become scratched which makes them harder to clean. The scratches provide places for bacteria and germs to hide. This is especially dangerous when you cut raw chicken or other meats because bacteria like semolina can get into those scratches.
The Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board is eco-friendly, scratch resistant, non-slip, and dishwasher safe!
This cutting board is BPA free, non-toxic, FDA approved, Europe SGS compliant, odor resistant, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial 🙂
Can you say that your cutting board has all of these features??
TPU is strong and holds up well against scratches. What’s more is that it will not dull your knives.
Dimensions: 15.6” x 10.7” x 0.09” and weighs 10.75oz.
Unlike TPU, wooden cutting boards are hard to sanitize. Additionally, they cannot be placed in the dishwasher because it causes the different layers of wood to separate.
The more grooves your cutting board has (and the bigger they are), the more area is available for trapping moisture and giving bacteria a place to proliferate.
Click here to read a more detailed description of the Gabo TPU Antimicrobial Cutting Board.
The Floatable Vansky Waterproof Phone Pouch:
Do you love the outdoors?
Protect your phone from water, snow, and dust. This waterproof phone case is a dry bag that comes with an armband and an audio jack.
It is the perfect piece of gear for swimming, fishing, rowing, boating, and snorkeling.
The Vansky dry bag is fully submersible (IPX8 certified) to 100ft or 30 meters!
Plus, you can take pictures underwater with your phone or use it as a floating bag to protect your keys, credit cards, ID’s, cash, and more.
If you put your phone in this case and happen to drop it overboard while on a boat, your phone will float on the water’s surface. You won’t have to worry about dropping your phone and having it sink to the bottom of the ocean anymore.
Moreover, a regular waterproof case won’t do this. For example, the Otterbox just waterproofs the phone, but will not prevent it from sinking.
I live near the Lake Tahoe area, so I love playing in the mountains and tubing in the rivers.
If you are like me and want to have sound peace-of-mind, I double up by putting my phone in a waterproof case and then put that in a waterproof floatable device with my car keys.
Most smartphones are mini computers and cost about the same as some laptops. To me, it is totally worth the extra mile to make sure that my phone and keys are safe and dry.
Protect your phone from the environment while also being friendly to it 🙂
To read more about the Vansky Waterproof Phone Case click here.
How You Can Make a Difference:
To quote a recent Guardian article:
“Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling, and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean... [The article continues by stating that] a million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute.”
What’s even more outrageous is that the United States National Park system estimates that 500 million straws are used by Americans every day!
We must pull together as a society and change our ways for our and our children’s futures.
Lets quit using PVC plastic products and support companies that use their best efforts to provide products that have the least amount of environmental impact.
Remember, if we do not support companies that produce healthy and eco-friendly products, it will signal to the market that there is no demand for these kinds of items.
If there is no demand, the market will discontinue the production of these eco-friendly products. Moreover, new investment capital will fund other technologies instead of going toward creating more efficient, toxin-free, or environmentally safe products.
- Eco-Friendly Alternatives for a Sustainable Kitchen
- Why the World is Running Out of Clean Water
- Top 5 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Yoga Mats!
- The Truth About Why a Sustainable Future is Critical
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