Polyvinyl Chloride Replacement Windows
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Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 231
Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:20 pm    Post subject: Polyvinyl Chloride Replacement Windows Reply with quote

Commonly marketed as vinyl replacement or just replacement windows. I guess polyvinyl chloride replacement windows isn't as marketable.

In learning more about "vinyl" window replacements I decided to learn a little more about the "vinyl". Here is an interesting website I found. It is

I also learned that the plastic recyclers aren't so crazy about PVC either.

You wonder in 50 years if we will have guidelines for safely removing and disposing of PVC products.

Anyway, as far as I know, the wood and glass used to make the old windows have no health hazards. Once the lead paint is gone, I think the old window wins again.
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3010
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Portland, a local contractor sponsored a showing of the award winning Blue Vinyl film (see website in Steve's message above) back in October of 2003.

As shown in the Blue Vinyl film, a good part the the health risk of vinyl is borne by those who work at and live near the place where the basic PVC plastic is made. That might be in Bopal, New Jersey, Louisania, or in your own backyard. But, for most people here in the American market for plastic windows the plastic is made in someone else's backyard. Moving this health risk to such remote locations is a good part of what make plastic so appealing--you don't have a smelly factory next door and you don't have mothers and sisters and wives who give birth to abnormal babies. What makes plastics so cheap is that the cost of invorinmental damage and the health costs are not paid by the manufacturers, marketers, nor consumers of plastic products. The moral implications are evident: you get "nice" windows, someone else has to deal with and pay for poor health and worse.

To be fair, even traditional wood and glass production has its own issues. The energy to make the glass and saw the wood comes from fuel that is generated somewhere, whether it is gasoline, electricity, or even wood waste fuel for steam generation to power the sawmill.

So, as consumers, and as producers of windows, we can make a choice: plastic that produces birth defects, or smoke that makes the kids who live across the river from the sawmill cough. I suspect that wood production results in less human greef than plastic production.

One of the critical issues is that wood windows are easily repaired with a long life, and easily recycled. Plastic windows have a short life and are not easily recycled. So, more plastic, more greef, over and over again.

Being a woodworker and repairer of wood windows I know I can sleep well at night. I wonder how the owners of the PVC plants and the vinyl window guys are sleeping tonight.


by hammer and hand great works do stand
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