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Go Pvc-free

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To help with the invironment, try not to use pvc in any geocaches.


Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, commonly known as "vinyl," has become one of the most widely-used types of plastics. It's used in packaging, home furnishings, children’s toys, automobile parts, building materials, hospital supplies, and hundreds of other products. PVC may be versatile and relatively inexpensive, but the price we pay for a low-cost piece of PVC pipe or soft vinyl toy is far steeper than it may seem.


In fact, this commonplace plastic is one of the most toxic substances saturating our planet and its inhabitants. PVC contaminates humans and the environment throughout its lifecycle: during its production, use, and disposal. Few consumers realize that PVC is the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics. Since safer alternatives are available for virtually all uses of PVC, it is possible to protect human health and the environment by replacing and eventually phasing out this poison plastic.


The good news is that this industrial transition can be accomplished in a manner that is fair to all involved - the plastic manufacturers, industrial workers, and host communities. PVC can be replaced with safer materials in virtually all cases. Substitutes for PVC include traditional materials such as clay, glass, ceramics and linoleum. In those cases where traditional materials cannot be used as a replacement, even chlorine-free plastics are preferable to PVC. As consumers increasingly demand PVC-free products, and as the environmental and health costs of PVC are recognized, practical alternatives will become more economically viable.


Source: GreenPeace

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Hmm, Greenpeace never really does mention the problem with they have with PVC. I did some digging on their website (where this text was cut and pasted from) to find out that the real chemical they have a problem with is Dioxin.


Dioxin has been proved to be harmful to labratory animals exposed to high doses. Some elevated risk of cancer may occur in individuals with higher exposure. The minimal exposure among the general public has not been linked to any health effects.


In any case, I've only seen one or two caches made out of PVC, so I don't think this is a real concern.

Edited by Rich the Bushwhacker
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C'mon kids, the topic isn't PETA it's Greenpeace....or...something.


I've seen a lot of PVC caches around here....too many really. I'm far more concerned about them being mistaken for pipe bombs than I am about them screwing up the environment.



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Oh my god... this is TERRIBLE!


I think that Groundspeak can help end this despoilation of our earth by listing seperately all geocaches that are placed in PVC containers. Make them a seperate category. For that matter, lets have categories for Ammo Cans, Lock & Locks, Tupperware and Chinese Food Containers.


That way, I can avoid any caches that are placed in old Chinese Soup Containers as I object to their cruel use of MSG!

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Oh my gosh, I had no idea of the dangers of PVC. I've been too busy with another invironmental challenge, Dihydrogen monoxide.


This is a chemical that has been used for well over one hundred years and its use must be stopped! The Association for Environmental Activism is dedicated to seeing that its use comes to a swift end. Dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) is colorless, odorless, tasteless and kills thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there.


Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Symptoms of DHMO ingestion can include excessive sweating and urination, possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting, and body electrolyte imbalance.


Contamination is reaching epidemic proportions in many modern societies. Dozens of arid countries have spent millions of dollars in research money to extract it in its pure form from our planet's oceans. Quantities of dihydrogen monoxide have been found in almost every stream, lake, and reservoir in America today. But the pollution is global, and the contaminant has even been found in Antarctic ice. DHMO has caused millions of dollars of property damage in the midwest and recently in California.


Despite the danger, dihydrogen monoxide is often used as an industrial solvent, in nuclear power plants, in the production of styrofoam and as a fire retardant.


Pharmaceutical companies have put DHMO to use in large quantities in conjunction with many forms of cruel animal research. It has been linked to the distribution of pesticides and is often sprayed on crops of all kind. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical.


Nutritionists have recognized DHMO as an additive in certain food products for decades but have been reluctant to speak out to the public about the vast quantities of this chemical being used in most foods.


Companies dump waste DHMO into rivers and the ocean, and nothing can be done to stop them because this practice is still legal. The impact on wildlife is extreme, and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer!


The horror must be stopped!


Our government has refused to ban the production, distribution, or use of this damaging chemical due to its "importance to the economic health of this nation." In fact, the Navy and other military organizations are conducting experiments with DHMO, and designing multi-billion dollar devices to control and utilize it during warfare situations.


Hundreds of military and civilian research facilities receive tons of it through a highly sophisticated underground distribution network. Many store large quantities for later use. It's not too late! Act NOW to prevent further contamination. Find out more about this dangerous chemical. What you don't know can hurt you and others throughout the world!


Ask a chemist, your local high school science teacher, or university chemistry professor about the exact composition of this chemical!


The Facts:

Also called hydroxl acid or dihydrous oxide, it is a component of acid rain.

It contributes to the "greenhouse effect."

It may cause severe burns as a vapor.

It contributes to the erosion of our beautiful natural landscape.

Accelerates corrosion and rusting of many metals and may be affecting your car.

Causes electrical failure and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes.

It has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.


The Deadly Statistics:

In the year 2000, according to the Children's Safety Zone,

There were a total of 210 reported DHMO related incidents.

64 Deaths. Out of those 64, 28 were children and 36 were adults.


By way of comparison, there were 43 deaths the previous year out of 160 incidents.


Tell every one you know to support all efforts to ban this colorless and tasteless, deadly substance.


Helpful DMSO link



Edited by Team Noltex
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People stop hurting the world, your breathing puts toxic fumes into the atmosfere.  Join the Revolution!!! STOP BREATHING

lol I agree. Take this for example our water in the bay area is mostly poluted with quicksilver because of careless mining back in the days you can't find a good place to fish for more then 50 miles away from our house without worrying about contamination of fish even the san fransisco bay is loaded with mercury the fish you eat in san fransisco is contaminated. Even back in the day when Fairchild poluted our drinking water here and now where their building once was is now a parking lot with a grociery store ontop of contaminated land. I think greenpeace should worry about careless mishaps from comercial polutions,Or from people smoking rather then a 5 inch piece of PVC that is hanging off of a bush somewhere or is in someone's front yard.

Edited by Mystery Ink
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Hey, I'm with the OP on this one. I think Groundspeak needs to take immediate action. Here's what I propose:


- A new cache attribute for PVC Free caches. This will immediately allow us to stay away from all caches containing this deadly 3 letter chemical.


- A mandatory warning on all caches where PVC is used, alerting all potential finders to the danger they could be in if they attempt to eat the cache.


- An updated disclaimer page stating that PVC caches could be a danger to your health, and that PVC has been known to the state of California to cause cancer in laboratory rats if ingested in high enough doses.


- Add a rule to the guidelines stating that any PVC container, or any container ever stored inside a PVC container, or that rode in a car also containing PVC material cannot be used for a cache unless it's placed within 528 feet of a chemical decontamination station.


We need to take action NOW people! If we don't, the legislators in South Carolina might adopt legislation REQUIRING that only PVC containers be used in cemeteries and at historic sites. And we can't let that happen! We need to nip this PVC problem in the bud. Call your congressmen, your local approver, and your plumber and let them all know - no more PVC!


Save the earth!!







edit: PVC has destroyed my ability to spell

Edited by DocDiTTo
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I'm not sure that I could achieve the sarcasm quotient of the previous posts.

Much of OPs source seems hyperbolic and inane from a chemical viewpoint. I fail to see how the 'use' of PVC (as opposed to the also mentioned creation and disposal of PVC) causes harm to the environment. Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenys. I can understand the problems with those chemicals. There are still major pollution problems from dioxins manufactured during the Vietnam War. Much of the silt in the Passaic River is polluted from the manufacturing plant in Kearny. Likewise the problem in the Hudson from the GE plant near Schnectady.

Not to mention chromium, radium and asbestos pollution.

Perhaps OP should post more scientific data? I have not seen anything posted that would cause me any concern about PVC. And I have found some excellent PVC caches!

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