Where Can I Be Exposed to Vinyl Chloride?

Vinyl chloride is a type of colorless substance used in industrial industries to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The substance has been linked to the development of severe liver damage and the development of cancer in the liver, brain, lungs, and blood. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have all determined vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen. Most people exposed to vinyl chloride are the workers who use it to manufacture PVC pipe; however, there are several other ways to be exposed to vinyl chloride.

PVC Pipes

Vinyl chloride is most often used to produce PVC pipes. These are plastic pipes used in businesses and the home to save on the cost of more expensive, metal pipes. While handling a PVC pipe hasn’t been linked to any cancer development, it does contain harmful carcinogens that may be released if the tube is burned. In a building fire, for example, a PVC pipe will release dioxin, a super-toxic chemical released when plastic containing chlorine is burned. There is also some debate about PVC pipe disposal methods. If it isn’t incinerated properly, it could release toxins into the groundwater under landfills.


If you live too near a vinyl chloride processing plant, you could be inhaling the gas without knowing it. Vinyl chloride has been found in the air near manufacturing and processing plants, hazardous waste sites, and landfills. The amount of vinyl chloride found in these areas can range from trace amounts to more than 1 ppm. In some places, levels as high as 44 ppm were found in the air at some landfills.


Those exposed to tobacco smoke, such as cigarettes and cigars, will inhale some amount of vinyl chloride. While levels inhaled through direct and second-hand smoke are weak, it does account for a small percentage of how people are exposed to daily levels of vinyl chloride.


People can also be exposed to vinyl chloride through contaminated water. Most drinking water supplies don’t contain vinyl chloride. However, some wells could become contaminated. Tests done on groundwater supplies showed vinyl chloride was found in fewer than 1% of the 945 groundwater supplies tested in the United States. Likewise, there is no current information available about the amount of the substance released from PVC pipes into the water.

If you or your loved one have developed cancer as a result of vinyl chloride exposure, don’t hesitate to call Shrader & Associates L.L.P. Our skilled Texas mesothelioma attorneys are dedicated to helping the victims of toxic exposure seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We have helped hundreds of people across the nation with their cases. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (877) 958-7920 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.


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