Polyethylene vinyl acetate, commonly known as PEVA, is a material that serves as a viable alternative to PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
Its emergence in the marketplace caters to the growing demand for more environmentally friendly and health-conscious consumer products. Unlike PVC, PEVA is free from chlorine, a chemical element that can be harmful in various applications.
PEVA if often used in household items such as shower curtains, children’s toys, and even packaging due to its flexible and waterproof nature. PEVA is often sought after for its safer profile and lower environmental impact, making it a preferred choice for those looking to lessen their ecological footprint and ensure the safety of their loved ones.
- PEVA (Polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a safer, chlorine-free alternative to PVC.
- It is used in everyday items and is favored for its eco-friendliness.
- It has most of the benefits of PVC and is considered a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative
What is PEVA?
PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a non-chlorinated vinyl and is commonly used as a substitute for PVC(polyvinyl chloride) – which is a type of chlorinated vinyl.
This material is seen to be a less toxic version of vinyl due to the fact that it is non-chlorinated (contains no chloride).
So, products manufactured from PEVA is considered to be a healthier alternative to PVC products.
Understanding PEVA Uses in Plastic Products
PEVA is used in numerous household items such as:
- Shower curtains
- Cosmetic bags
- Baby bibs
- Plastic table coverings
- Car covers
- Mattress protectors
- Electric Heaters
The Safety of PEVA as a Material in Consumer Goods
This is where the subject gets a little complicated. If you look at what we know about this type of vinyl now, it can certainly be viewed as a less-toxic alternative to PVC.
While this may give you peace of mind when purchasing a product that contains polyethylene vinyl acetate, you should be aware that it still contains other chemicals that may be dangerous to human health. Some studies suggest that PEVA is, in fact, toxic to some living organisms.
The main reason why it is impossible to make a definitive statement on this question is that many of the chemicals are contained in this petrochemical product are yet to be properly tested for adverse affects to human health.
What we do know is that this material is free from phthalates, which “may increase children’s cancer risk”
So, while little is known about ethylene vinyl acetate toxicity, the evidence shows that PEVA is a less harmful material than PVC.
Our advice regarding products containing PEVA is to use them cautiously. It is always good practice to be aware of what your products are made of and what adverse effects these materials may have on your health.
Is PEVA safe for babies?
PEVA has gained popularity in baby products such as bibs and bath toys. Its safety stems from the absence of chlorine and other toxic chemicals typically associated with PVC.
This characteristic reduces potential health risks and makes PEVA a preferred choice for items in close contact with infants.
Nevertheless, to ensure maximum safety, you should always opt for baby products that explicitly state they are free from BPA, phthalates, and lead.
Are PEVA shower curtains safe?
Shower curtains made from PEVA have raised questions about their implications for health within the household environment.
They offer a less-toxic alternative to traditional PVC curtains, as PEVA material releases fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Homeowners seeking a safer alternative to PVC can choose PEVA shower curtains. However, it is important to do your research and decide whether to use a PEVA shower curtain.
PEVA vs PVC: Identifying the Safer Plastic Alternative
Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is a widely used plastic. It can be found in a variety of products, such as pipes, window frames, and medical equipment.
However, PVC contains phthalates—additives that increase plastic flexibility—which have raised health and environmental concerns due to their potential toxicity.
PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a non-chlorinated vinyl and is considered a safer alternative to PVC. Phthalates are absent from PEVA, which makes it less toxic and a better choice for applications like shower curtains, tablecloths, and baby bibs.
|Contains phthalates, which are toxic
|Phthalate-free and considered safer
|Pipes, medical equipment, window frames
|Shower curtains, tablecloths
|Difficult to recycle and can release toxins
|Easier to recycle and less harmful to the environment
If you are concerned about health and the environment, PEVA is likely preferable. It has similar benefits for products without the associated risks that come with PVC.
When choosing plastics for personal use or manufacturing, considering PEVA over PVC can be a step towards safer and more sustainable practices.
Environmental Impact and Sustainability
PEVA, is a non-chlorinated vinyl. This material is often marketed as an eco-friendly version of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) due to its lack of chlorine—a substance associated with environmental harm in PVC production and disposal.
The production of PEVA is less toxic compared to that of PVC, as it does not release dioxins. These harmful chemicals can be produced during the creation or incineration of PVC. Being free of these chemicals, PEVA is considered a safer alternative for both consumers and the environment. However, it is still a plastic and carries some environmental impact.
While PEVA is more sustainable than some conventional plastics, its environmental friendliness is relative. Its production does involve the use of oil—a non-renewable resource—and it is not usually biodegradable.
PEVA is a highly recyclable plastic, and some modern plastic recycling facilities will be able to handle PEVA products. You will want to call ahead though, as some recycling facilities do not accept soft plastics of any kind.
Once the PEVA products usefulness is over, contact your local recycling facility to find out if they take items made from PEVA.
Consumer Awareness and Understanding Product Labeling
Products that contain polyethylene vinyl acetate instead of PVC will generally advertise the fact, due to it being marketed as a less toxic alternative.
If the product you are considering contains vinyl, but there is no mention of PEVA, then it is highly likely that it is manufactured from PVC instead and should be avoided if possible.
There is no specific law that requires products containing PEVA to be labeled as such, unless the manufacturer wants to claim the biodegradability or environmental friendliness of the product. In that case, the manufacturer must follow the guidelines and standards set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid deceptive or misleading advertising.