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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Nasty Ingredients
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is a synthetic polymer that can be used to create both hard and soft plastics. Despite its usefulness as a material, concerns have been raised about the environmental and human health costs of PVC. We choose to leave it out of our products for those who wish to avoid this ingredient.

PVC is derived from the petrochemical vinyl chloride, and is used in many different products including pipes, packaging, medical devices, toothbrushes, childrens toys, window frames, inflatables and flooring. PVC is a hard plastic, but can be made softer and more flexible with the use of plasticisers. There are concerns about the safety of PVC products, due to the presence of these plasticisers, particularly phthalates. Because phthalates are not chemically bonded to the polymer, they are prone to leaching and off-gassing. Phthalates have been labelled as ‘plausibly’ endocrine (hormonal system) disruptors in some scientific studies, and their use has been in decline in recent years due to public and scientific pressure.

Other names: Polyvinyl Chloride Resin

Chemical class: Synthetic Polymers


Babich, M. A., Bevington, C., & Dreyfus, M. A. (2020). Plasticizer migration from children's toys, child care articles, art materials, and school supplies. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP, 111, 104574.

Bouma, K., & Schakel, D. J. (2002). Migration of phthalates from PVC toys into saliva simulant by dynamic extraction. Food additives and contaminants, 19(6), 602–610.

Sadeghi, Ghazal; Ghaderian, Elham; and O'Connor, Anne. (2015) Determination of Dioctyl phthalate (DEHP) concentration in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic parts of toothbrushes. The Downtown Review. Vol. 1. Iss. 2.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (2022). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 6338, Vinyl chloride.

INCI Name:
Polyvinyl Chloride
Ingredient origins:
Common name:
EWG score: The EWG score is a hazard score ranging from 1-2 (low hazard), 3-6 (moderate hazard) and 7-10 (high hazard) published by the Environmental Working Group. Their data is sourced from the Skin Deep® database and studies published in open scientific literature.
1 - 2 (depends on usage)