What are inflatable pool floats made of?
Inflatable pool floats are generally made of PVC or polyvinyl chloride. PVC is one of the most commonly used synthetic plastics in the world. It may surprise people how PVC can be made into floats. That’s probably because the first thing that people think about when they hear PVC is the one used in pipes. That’s the rigid kind of PVC though. The one used in inflatables are softened by plasticizers.
As of 2015, PVC is the fifth most heavily produced synthetic plastic in the world. That year, 38 million tons of PVC was produced. That is for both forms of PVC. The rigid type is solid yet brittle. When mixed with a plasticizer, the PVC becomes flexible. The plasticizer used to soften the PVC is known as phthalate, which is not a very good material for both people and the environment. Various health organizations have not identified the specific adverse effects of phthalates in people’s health. The same health organizations are closely monitoring this chemical for future legislations.
It’s the children who are at largely at risk of being exposed to phthalates because aside from inflatables, a lot of toys and hygienic products contain the chemical. Babies also have the tendency to put their hands on their mouth and these hands may have touched phthalates beforehand. When it comes to inflatable pool floats, though, it could be negligible since it is not every day that children use inflatable pool floats.
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