An article recently came out about how researchers from a ‘green’ chemistry center have found a way to recover a chemical called polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA).  It is a compound that is used in the television industry and is a key element of television sets with liquid crystal display (LCD) technology.  These green conscious scientists are worried about the heavy burden of having to manage all of the potential waste of thrown out television sets by just burying it in landfills, so they have now devised a way to recover and reuse it by putting it into our medical system.  It would now be used for things such as “transforming it into a substance suitable for use in tissue scaffolds which help parts of the body regenerate. They can also be used in pills and dressings that are designed to deliver drugs to particular parts of the body.”  Interesting.  I decided to take a peek at the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on  PVA and here is what I found relating to human exposure to this chemical:

Skin: May cause skin irritation.
Eyes: May cause eye irritation.
Ingestion: May cause gastrointestinal (digestive) tract irritation. May affect behavior/central nervous system (symptoms may include general depressed activity, altered sleep time, muscle weakness). May also affect blood and metabolism.
Inhalation: May cause respiratory tract irritation.
Chronic Potential Health Effects: Inhalation or ingestion for prolonged period of time may affect blood and metabolism, and behavior.

It is unbelievable that scientists cannot understand why disease rates, such as cancer, are sky rocketing.  Really?  Is our society so focused on going green that we have lost our ability to look beyond the trend and use our heads to see what the repercussions of going green may be?  In many cases, such as this, going green creates risks that outweigh the benefits.  We are now recycling, which is a major component of the going green movement, a carcinogenic chemical into something that will be put into our bodies and will most definitely take a toll on our health.

The irony is this:  What’s the point of  going green to create a healthy living environment for the future, when walking down this path may ruin the health of those who will be living in it?