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PVC Health Concern


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#1 Dremz3

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:23 PM

So I was researching the contents of PVC and its health risks. I found that there is a major risk of carcinogens and other harmful compounds. I personally do not believe that PVC is that dangerous, but for some of us who work with it and breathe in so much of it from sanding the pipes, it could be a hazard in later years. If you want to check it out, just research it and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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#2 evilbunnyo

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:35 PM

And you'll get brain cancer from using a cell phone. Yes there is a minimal risk but it is minimal. I don't think anyone on this site is melting pvc and inhaling the dust. Plastic contains chemicals that's a fact. If pvc was really as bad as you might think wouldn't it have been banned years ago? Just my two cents.
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#3 CaliforniaPants

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:55 PM

Wear a mask or turn on a fan, its all you need.
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#4 Dremz3

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 10:50 PM

I mean that's what I figure, but I was just surprised to see all the warnings and hazards. There have been organizations banning types of PVC, but I just thought it was a topic that could be important.
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#5 Seprest

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:01 AM

When sanding PVC I keep it away from my face and over a towel so that all the dust is trapped when it lands. I also only work with it outside or at least in the garage with the door open. Same precautions you should take with any of the really volatile smelling epoxys, really. Open well ventilated areas.
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#6 TagMaster247

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:15 AM

When sanding, cutting, and/or Dremeling, I do it outside with a mask on.

#7 Ambience 327

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:02 AM

I do it outside with a mask on.


I just know somebody is going to sig that. :rolleyes:


Good ventilation and a filter mask will protect you from the dangers of PVC dust inhalation - and in fact is a good precaution whenever you are dealing with cutting/sanding/drilling/anything else that creates a lot of particulate matter (dust).
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#8 Carbon

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 01:19 PM

Another solution is to increase the size of the dust. For PVC cuts, I use a toothed cutting bit, as opposed to, say, a diamond wheel. It kicks out small chips, instead of a cloud of dust.
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#9 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:40 AM

If you want to check it out, just research it and I'd love to hear your thoughts.


There is already a thread concerning how to work safely with plastic. If you want to make another one for PVC specifically, you can present the research you've found and efficient techniques.

This is not the place to hold an open forum however.
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#10 Daniel Beaver

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:07 AM

Slug talks a little bit about it in his guide to machining plastics.

There isn't really much to discuss. PVC is quite safe, and all the "proper" ways to cut it don't release fumes or fine particulate. If you really have to release fine dust (e.g. cutting slots with a crappy dremel bit), just follow the same steps as you would if you were spray-painting, or applying some noxious solvent weld - do it outside, preferably with a respirator.

Edited by Daniel Beaver, 06 June 2012 - 07:57 AM.

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