Vinyl chloride is a colorless flammable gas that evaporates very quickly. It's used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, wire coatings, vehicle upholstery, and plastic kitchen ware. Higher than normal levels of vinyl chloride may be present inside new cars as the chemical evaporates from new vinyl products.
Vinyl chloride can be formed in the environment when soil organisms break down "chlorinated" solvents. In the environment, the highest levels of vinyl chloride are found in air around factories producing vinyl products. Vinyl chloride that is released by industries or formed by the breakdown of other chlorinated chemicals can enter the air and drinking water supplies. Vinyl chloride is a common contaminant found near landfills.
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