Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the polymer of vinyl chloride (CVM). It is composed of 57% of chlorine and 43% of vinyl (ethylene with an atom of hydrogen removed). It was firstly synthetized in 1872, but its industrial production began around 1950. Since then PVC caught widely on in all the most advanced industrial societies, as witnessed by the fact that, to this day, polyninylchloride is amongst the most used plastic materials in the world, in sectors the most far apart too, from construction industry to packaging industry, from pharmaceutical to medical and surgical aids, instruments and devices, from civil protection materials to fashion and design.
Very often PVC was depicted as a carcinogenic material, potentially harmful for Man, but the most recent studies confirm the utter groundlessness of these theories, since the polymer in itself does not have any counter-indication towards Man nor towards the environment; on the contrary, this material is antibacterial and, thanks to the replacement of lead-containing stabilizers with stabilizers containing molecules like calcium and zinc, it proves to be completely non-toxic. These two fundamental features, together with its being recyclable, make it a “human friendly” material.