PVC: health implications and production trends

Environ Health Perspect. 1976 Oct;17:107-15. doi: 10.1289/ehp.7617107.


Poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) is a complex plastic system. Individual components of the PVC system, including residual vinyl chloride monomer (RVCM) and certain additives, may pose risks of harm to human health. There have been significant reductions in the RVCM content of PVC resin since 1974, reducing the cancer risk of workers in PVC fabrication plants and consumers of PVC products. A "no-effect" level for vinyl chloride monomer (VCM)-induced carcinogenesis has not been found to date; therefore, the significance of human exposure to low levels of RVCM remains to be determined. Exposure to PVC dust may cause pulmonary dysfunctions. Pulmonary and other possible health effects of PVC dust require further study. The PVC plastics system should be characterized as to interactions among its various components and as to interactions of the components and the PVC system as a whole with biological systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / analysis
  • Automobiles
  • Chemical Industry*
  • Dust
  • Food Contamination
  • Government Agencies
  • Hemangiosarcoma / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Liver Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Particle Size
  • Pneumoconiosis / etiology
  • Polyvinyl Chloride / adverse effects*
  • Polyvinyls / adverse effects*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration
  • Vinyl Chloride / adverse effects


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Dust
  • Polyvinyls
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Vinyl Chloride