Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Vinyl Chloride (C2H3Cl)

Plastic Pete (Pollutant: Vinyl Chloride) Air Villain

Vinyl Chloride (C2H3Cl)

Alias: Plastic Pete

Description: (Compound) Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas with a mild, sweet odor. It is a manufactured substance.

Crime: Vinyl chloride in the air can cause liver and nerve damage, immune reactions, reproductive problems and cancer of the liver, brain, lungs and blood. Vinyl chloride is soluble in water and can contaminate groundwater.

Cause: Vinyl chloride is released into the air by factories that make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a material used in plastic and vinyl products. Tobacco smoke also contains vinyl chloride.