Summer is the best season for swimming. During the hot season almost all of the swimming pools and beach resorts are full that sometimes instead of having fun we get stressed from the excursion. To beat the hot season we usually find ways to relax and unwind the very warm temperature. Even at home some of us setup mini swimming pool that can be easily bought at the department store or market to cool up, but did you know how safe is the plastic swimming pool?
Family safety, especially for the kids is very important. It was one sunny day when my niece and little boy spent swimming at the mini plastic swimming pool for kids. My son is not fat, but I am thankful that he is not a type of child that easily get sick. I want him to grow bigger and as much as I can I do not want him to get sick. Just like most moms sometimes I am so strict with his food and beverage intake, and also with his toys and play area. He enjoyed so much swimming at the plastic mini swimming pool, but I am thinking of how safe is the plastic swimming pool so I did some research.
I have read the materials that are made-up of the plastic swimming pool and I found out that it is made from PVC.
What is PVC? It is an acronym of Polyvinyl chloride, an odorless and solid plastic. PVC is most commonly white but can also be colorless or amber. It can also come in the form of white powder or pellets. PVC is made from vinyl chloride. The chemical formula for vinyl chloride is C2H3Cl. PVC is made up of many vinyl chloride molecules that, linked together, form a polymer (C2H3Cl)n.
PVC is made softer and more flexible by the addition of phthalates. Bisphenol A (BPA) is also used to make PVC plastics. PVC contains high levels of chlorine.
How can PVC affect our health?
Exposure to PVC often includes exposure to phthalates, which are used to soften PVC and may have adverse health effects.
Because of PVC’s heavy chlorine content, dioxins are released during the manufacturing, burning, or landfilling of PVC. Exposure to dioxins can cause reproductive, developmental, and other health problems, and at least one dioxin is classified as a carcinogen.
Dioxins, phthalates, and BPA are suspected to be endocrine disruptors, which are chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the human endocrine system.
Exposure to PVC dust may cause asthma and affect the lungs.
credit source: http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov
In our daily life, we may not notice that we are exposed to PVC. There are many products or things that are made up of PVC such as some medical devices, including intravenous (IV) bags, blood bags, blood and respiratory tubing, feeding tubes, catheters, parts of dialysis devices, and heart bypass tubing. Phthalates are used in PVC plastics such as garden hoses, inflatable recreational toys, and other toys.
Consumer products made with PVC include raincoats, toys, shoe soles, shades and blinds, upholstery and seat covers, shower curtains, furniture, carpet backing, plastic bags, videodiscs, and credit cards.
No wonder why FDA is taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply especially the steps in supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market because of the health risk. You may read the full article at http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/publichealthfocus/ucm064437.htm.
It is not only the plastic swimming pool that our kids might be exposed to PVC but also to some indoor toys or play areas like those that we see at the mall with recreational activities for kids. I am not strongly against these kinds of facilities or recreational colorful toys because I myself also let my little son play there. What I have learned here is that we should not let our child too much exposure to these materials and even us at home it is better to avoid in as much as we can.
Go for natural not plastics. I love the breastfeeding campaign of the Philippine government, although I still use some BPA free bottles for my baby because I do mix-feeding. Let us bring back the old childhood play where they can freely run, play and expose to natural air and sunlight. It is time to get close to our Earth’s natural resources by safe swimming at the beach, river or spring waters. We cannot completely avoid the use of PVC but at least we can reduce the exposure to it. Be safe!