Environmental Health & Safety
Vinyl can be formulated into products that meet health, safety and other requirements set forth by such agencies as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Sanitation Foundation and Consumer Product Safety Commission and Canadian Standards Association, as well as North American building codes.
The vinyl industry has subjected its products to extensive testing to demonstrate that they are safe to use. It maintains an active testing program to address new standards, as well as new concerns, as they develop.
Some concern has been expressed over formation of dioxin during vinyl manufacture or incineration since vinyl contains chlorine. Dioxin is not produced intentionally; it can occur when anything containing chlorine burns. Because chlorine is so pervasive in the environment, dioxin is a byproduct of natural events like forest fires, lightning and volcanoes, as well as manmade activities such as burning wood and backyard trash, diesel vehicle emissions and various manufacturing processes.
In fact, the biggest manmade source of dioxin today by far is backyard burning. Vinyl manufacturing today accounts for less than one percent of dioxin releases to the environment less than many other manufacturing operations and building products. The good news, according to the U.S. EPA, is that dioxin emissions from human sources have declined by more than 90 percent in recent decades, and further declines continue to be documented.
Over the last 25 years, residential vinyl windows have shown an impressive growth history. This growth is the result of vinyl windows ability to provide consumers with both environmental and economic benefits energy efficiency, low maintenance and exceptional durability.
When installed correctly and maintained properly, vinyl window products will deliver long and reliable service and energy savings.