Our Advertisers Represent Some Of The Most Unique Products & Services On Earth!

Is PVC Plumbing Really
Better Than Copper?
By Ted Twietmeyer
In a recent headline story, the Illinois government is suing the tiny town of Crestwood for the use of a contaminated well. The town water well has been found to have two chemicals - dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride. According to the news story these are "so toxic the EPA says there is no safe level of exposure." We will focus on the vinyl chloride chemical here, since that topic will be lengthy enough.
That EPA statement on vinyl chloride completely burns out the common sense meter. First, we heard from the government how unhealthy it is to have copper plumbing. Yet the common penny was never banned. Any metal you handle can be absorbed into your skin. We'll talk more about copper plumbing later.
So what about vinyl chloride? For many years, copper piping has been hastily removed everywhere almost like toxic waste and replaced with plastic pipe. And what is plastic water pipe made of? PolyVinylChloride, or PVC. This isn't just one vinyl chloride molecule but a complex vinyl chloride molecule ­ hence the prefix "Poly." PVC is used in just about everything you can think of such as ice-maker tubing in refrigerators, new home water pipes and its inside vending, soda and ice machines. It's easy to work with, glues together quickly and never corrodes.
Another chemical on toxic list are phthalates. This complex chemical is used to make countless forms of plastics like sex toys and PVC softer during manufacturing. And it too, is considered a harmful chemical. Phthalate compounds never fully bind to PVC molecules and are given off over time.
Did I forget to mention here that yet another plastic compound used in plastic food and water bottles ­ Bisphenol A (BPA) - is also related to the Phthalate family of plastic compounds? But in a speech by Dr. Norris Alderson he refuted the hazards to HHS. [4]
That's another entire story unto itself.
"People are commonly exposed to phthalates, and the majority of Americans tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have metabolites of multiple phthalates in their urine. (Translation: almost everyone is contaminated with multiplex complex plastic compounds.) Because phthalate plasticizers are not chemically bound to PVC, therefore they can easily leach and evaporate into food or the atmosphere. Phthalate exposure can be through direct use or indirectly through leaching and general environmental contamination." [3]
There's no escape from phthalates. Even the erasers used by children in school have phthalates ­ and kids chew on them all the time!
Where will it all end? You can't use copper pipes since these are supposedly bad for you. You shouldn't use PVC because of the vinyl chloride problem. So what about the noble metals? If you have nice deep pockets, what about putting gold pipes in your home? Oops ­ gold is considered a toxic HEAVY metal. (Yet no one has banned it from rings and necklaces that contact your skin.) It appears that having deep pockets won't help much.
So here's another solution ­ make water pipes out of stainless steel! But there's a problem with that one, too. Stainless steel has a high percentage of the element chomium that keeps it from rusting. But chomium is another heavy metal, and acidic water can slowly leach the chromium from the steel.
Should everyone revert back to wooden pipes? That too can pose a problem. Trees often pick up arsenic in the soil they grow in, both naturally occuring and from widespread use by farmers many decades ago before it was banned. It was often used in ochards as an insecticide. Therefore, wood from trees might have arsenic and it might leach into the water going through pipes made of wood. Pressure treated wood now has a bad reputation as well.
We can't even make water pipes out of ordinary paper if we could figure out how to make it waterproof. Paper is treated with chemicals during processing. God save those kids in school that make spit-wads in class! They're poisoning themselves! Someone stop them!
There are those who argue "Lead used to solder water pipes is bad for you." Yes, I'll admit lead is a toxic compound. But so are the plastic compounds given off inside new cars ­ Bisphenol-A and phthalates coat the insides of windows new cars for months after manufacturing. People affectionately call the chemical cocktail "That new-car smell." Aren't carcinogens wonderful?
A simple fact exists that most people don't ever understand about when they gasp in horror looking at soldered pipes in older homes. Solder they see on fittings does NOT contact the water going through the pipe. Only a very tiny amount of the solder inside the pipe actually contacts the water.
With plumbing, over time minerals in tap and well water almost always coat the inside of the pipes and also the tiny amount of exposed solder. All new plumbing today is soldered with LEAD-FREE solder.
So what about the copper pipes? Our bodies NEED copper! It's an essential part of maintaining good health.
As for me? I'm leaving my copper plumbing right where it is when I installed it in 1982 when we built the home. It's a heck of a lot more healthy than having endless leaching plastic compounds into the water. At least my body can metabolize the copper!
Ted Twietmeyer
[1] - http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-090609
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PVC
[3] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalates
[4] - http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/2008/06/t20080610d.html
[5] - http://www.copperinfo.co.uk/health/
Donate to Rense.com
Support Free And Honest
Journalism At Rense.com
Subscribe To RenseRadio!
Enormous Online Archives,
MP3s, Streaming Audio Files, 
Highest Quality Live Programs


This Site Served by TheHostPros