Facts About Vinyl Chloride

The office for the Gloucester County Freeholder Director sent out the following statement regarding facts about Vinyl Chloride:

What is Vinyl Chloride?

* Vinyl Chloride is a manufactured substance that does not occur naturally.
* Used to make PVC which is used in a variety of common plastic products such as pipes, cable coatings, packing materials etc.
* Also known as Chloroethene, Chloroethylene, ethylene monochloride.
* Colorless gas.
* Has mild, sweet odor.
* Burns easily is not stable at high temperatures.
* Is heavier than air and can travel along the ground.

How are people exposed to vinyl chloride?

* Most cases of vinyl chloride exposure occur in the workplace (plastic industries, hazardous waste sites, landfills).
* Exposure can occur through breathing, skin contact. People can also be exposed by drinking or cooking with contaminated water.

How can Vinyl Chloride affect my health?

* Exposure may cause eye or throat irritation, headache, shortness of breath.
* Breathing high levels of Vinyl Chloride can cause dizziness and/or sleepiness.
* Breathing very high levels can cause loss of consciousness.
* Breathing extremely high levels can cause death.

Can a Medical Test determine exposure to vinyl chloride?

* Vinyl chloride can be found in urine and body tissue after recent exposures.
* Seek medical advice if you think you have any symptoms related to chemical exposure.


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