Monday, August 26, 2013

PVC in Aquaponics

PVC in Aquaponics


Recently someone questioned me about using PVC pipe with an aquaponics system. My first response was it was safe. 

PVC is safe!...Millions of homes across the world have these pipes installed.
What was now running around in my head was "organic and safe food." I am big on research and so I set out to prove the PVC safety issue was fine.

PVC in Aquaponics , aquaponics, design aquaponics,
PVC in Aquaponics , aquaponics, design aquaponics,


Problem was the more I researched it the more it became apparent that I might be wrong.

You can only deny for it so long. PVC is very questionable to use in aquaponics systems. I have a friend in the aquaponics industry that I have become friends with. I value his opinion immensely and see him as a mentor.  I recently wrote to him about my findings and sent him a copy of the guide I created. I shared with him all the facts and research on PVC pipe. To my surprise he was very understanding and even thanked me for an excellent guide.

He even offered to help out by suggesting this guide to others growing produce with aquaponics.  My friend said he often came across people asking all kinds of questions regarding PVC pipe. This was a huge relief for me because other people in the aqua community had become angry, when I said that PVC was not the safest product to be using in an aquaponics system.

Most of us never want to believe that we can be harmed by products that we are told are safe for humans. However you should know that PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) is a thermoplastic polymer made up from different chemicals. Industrial products like Phthalates, Lead and Cadmium. All of which are toxic to us.
When PVC is burned it creates an extremely dangerous chemical called Dioxin. This is a class 1 carcinogenic.


PVC pipe cannot be recycled and if it is exposed to sunlight for too long there is a good chance lead ash is being passed through the pipe. This means that there are thousands of landfills across the globe with exposed PVC pipe sitting there breaking down and creating a potential health hazard to humans. Is it leeching into the earth and waterways? What do you think?

I want you to think about this for a minute. Most aquaponics systems use PVC Pipes. They are usually exposed and people can clearly see them. If your system is not covered up and is sitting out in the sun, then you could be running the risk of  lead ash being transferred from your produce to your fish tank. This means there is a risk that your fish could also be contaminated with lead. There is a good reason why PVC pipe is usually buried.

Humanity found out 100 years ago what lead paint could do to the human body. Why would we ignore such a side effect now for the sake of profit?  Lead is directly absorbed, distributed, and excreted into our bodies. Once lead enters into the bloodstream it is distributed into different areas of our body.
They are...blood, soft tissue like the kidney, bone marrow, liver, brain, and our mineralized tissue such as the bones and teeth. Lead poisoning affects children in different ways too.

I am not telling anyone to change their PVC pipes out in their aquaponics systems. 


Rather I am providing people research material to look over and make their own decisions. In this guide there is over 12 years of studies, research and information collected. Some of the studies were done by scientists from different parts of the world. This is a free guide for you because I believe people should have the facts and truth about PVC.
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