Res. No. 63
Resolution calling upon the School Construction Authority (SCA) to immediately cease using and procuring any polyvinyl chloride (PVC) laden products, especially vinyl flooring, for any use in New York City (NYC) public schools; and set a timetable for the removal of all PVC laden vinyl flooring from all NYC public schools within a time frame of five years.
By Council Member Levin
Whereas, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), commonly known as vinyl, is one of the most widely used plastics; and
Whereas, Over 14 billion pounds of PVC are produced every year in North America for products such as packaging, cling film, bottles, credit cards, audio records, imitation leathers, window frames, cable and wire insulation, window blinds, shower curtains, cables, pipes, panelling, flooring, pipes, gutters, furniture, binders, folders, pens, wallpaper, toys, car interiors, and medical disposables; and
Whereas, PVC can only be used once it has been plasticized and stabilized with the addition of other toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, organotins, and phthalate plasticizers; and
Whereas, These additives can constitute approximately 40 to 60 percent of finished PVC products; and
Whereas, Such additives are capable of leaching, flaking or outgassing over time, thus increasing the risks of causing asthma, poisoning, learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive disorders, altered liver function, altered kidney function, respiratory complications, neurodevelopmental problems, central nervous system complications, immune system complications, skin complications, cancer, and more; and
Whereas, Ethylene dichloride (dioxin) and vinyl chloride are byproducts in the creation of PVC and can cause severe health problems; and
Whereas, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe health problems caused by byproducts of PVC include liver damage, lung damage, kidney damage, heart damage, nerve damage, blood clotting inhibition, development of immune reaction, circulation complications, skin damage, sperm and testes damage, irregular menstrual periods, high blood pressure, liver cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, variety of blood cancers, mammary gland cancer, birth defects, delayed development in fetuses, decreases weight in fetuses, miscarriages, and negatively affected growth and development; and
Whereas, Alternatives to PVC, including linoleum, polyolefin, synthetic rubber, and cork, are readily available, considerably safer, more cost effective, and have higher life-cycles; and
Whereas, New York City and State governments have already instituted several policies in order to promote “green” city and state schools, including PlaNYC, the Green Schools Guide, Local Laws 118 and 120 of 2005, and state procurement guidelines; and
Whereas, Immediately ceasing the use and procurement of any PVC laden product in New York City public schools is consistent with these policies; and
Whereas, Healthy schools that are free from toxic chemicals are critical to a child’s health and well-being especially since children are at a higher risk from even low-level exposure to many toxic chemicals; and
Whereas, Since much of a child’s life is spent at school, measures should be taken to reduce exposure; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the School Construction Authority (SCA) to immediately cease using and procuring any polyvinyl chloride (PVC) laden products, especially vinyl flooring, for any use in New York City (NYC) public schools; and set a timetable for the removal of all PVC laden vinyl flooring from all NYC public schools within a time frame of five years.