|Photo Credit: pvcpipe.com|
- intravenous (IV) bags
- blood bags,
- respiratory tubing,
- feeding tubes, catheters,
- parts of dialysis devices,
- heart bypass tubing
- inflatable recreational toys,
- other toys.
- bank/credit cards
- shoe soles
- shower curtains
- garden hoses
- food packaging and shrink-wrapped foods
Watch the video.NARRATION: Fresh out of the Army, Bernard Skaggs went to work at the BF Goodrich plant in Louisville, Kentucky.There, vinyl chloride gas was turned into a dough-like mixture that was then dried and processed into the raw material for PVC plastic. Bernie Skaggs' job was to climb into the giant vats that spun and mixed the vinyl chloride - and chip off what was left behind. Workers called it "kettle crud."SKAGGS: There was vinyl chloride everywhere. The valve, overhead valves had charging valves over there where the vinyl chloride was pumped into the reactors. All of those leaked and dripped. Most of them dripped on the floor all the time. They said it had to be - I think it was - 1,500 parts per million before you could smell it. Not only could you smell it, you could see it. It would - it would get into a vapor, and through the sunlight it waved, waves, and you see it. It was all the time that way.My hands began to get sore, and they began to swell some. My fingers got so sore on the ends, I couldn't button a shirt, couldn't dial a phone. And I had thick skin like it was burned all over the back of my hand, back of my fingers, all the way up under my arm, almost to my armpit. And after enough time, I got thick places on my face right under my eyes...MOYERS: Did you think it might be related to your job?SKAGGS: At the start, no.NARRATION: BF Goodrich would discover the truth.From: The BF Goodrich Company To: Union Carbide, Imperial Chemical Industries, and The Monsanto Company."Gentlemen: There is no question but that skin lesions, absorption of bone of the terminal joints of the hands, and circulatory changes can occur in workers associated with the polymerization of PVC."
NARRATION: In other words, they knew vinyl chloride could cause the bones in the hands of their workers to dissolve.(1)
Trade Secrets from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.
1 - PBS Trade Secrets Transcript
2 - Wikipedia - Polyvinyl Choride
3 - US National Library of Medicine - Polyvinyl Chloride
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