Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Green Office goes PVC free

If you work in an office, you know it's very hard to avoid products made with PVC. They are in everything from binders, plastic document covers, tape, computer monitors, mouse pads, and paper clips. A company in the Bay Area called will be removing ALL polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – based products from its inventory in response to growing concerns about its harmful effects to health and the environment. PVC uses and releases highly hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride, dioxins, mercury, phthalates, and other chemicals that have been linked to deterioration of the central nervous system, liver damage, reproductive harm, and certain cancers. This is a big step for The Green Office, as this represents more than 1,500 products in their inventory. We believe it’s the right thing to do and need your help making the PVC-Free Workplace Campaign a success. If you work in an office, please talk with whomever does your ordering and ask them to consider ordering from The Green Office. I'm not sure how their prices compare, but even if they are slightly higher (like when we buy organic food versus conventional food), the benefits to our planet and our personal health are worth it; we have to support leaders in the green economy.

PVC is a commonly used plastic used to make many different building, office and consumer products such as vinyl binders. Health and environmental organizations have been raising concerns about the dangers of PVC for many years. In response, major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target are phasing out certain PVC products in favor of safer alternatives.
According to the EPA, “Most vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and vinyl products. Acute (short-term) exposure to high levels of vinyl chloride in air has resulted in central nervous system effects (CNS), such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches in humans. Chronic (long-term) exposure to vinyl chloride through inhalation and oral exposure in humans has resulted in liver damage. Cancer is a major concern from exposure to vinyl chloride via inhalation, as vinyl chloride exposure has been shown to increase the risk of a rare form of liver cancer in humans. EPA has classified vinyl chloride as a Group A, human carcinogen.”
For more information, please visit the EPA website.
To learn more about the dangers of PVC, visit the Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s PVC Campaign website.

WHAT IS THEGREENOFFICE.COM? is the only one-stop-shop for office supplies emphasizing sustainable, green products. We offer a full selection of competitively-priced products—each comprehensively ranked by “greenness” using our innovative Green Screen system and shipped via free, next-day, carbon-neutral shipping. helps businesses become greener by providing practical office greening tips and resources, a Webinar series, sustainability consulting, and Green Office Offsets™ that meet Kyoto Protocol standards. We are a certified B Corporation and Bay Area Green Business and are proud to be an ENERGY STAR Partner and Co-op America Green Business.

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