Skeptical of her parents’ decision to “re-side” their Long Island home with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the seemingly benign cure-all of suburbia — Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand set out with co-director Daniel B. Gold to discover the truth behind the potentially toxic effects of the material, which is used in building everything from automobiles to computers, medical equipment, and children’s toys. With a tenderhearted agenda and a piece of blue vinyl siding firmly in hand, Helfand and Gold travel to the vinyl-manufacturing capital in Louisiana, enlist the help of a “green” builder in California, and journey as far as Venice, Italy, where 31 executives from a PVC-producing company await trial for manslaughter in a landmark conspiracy case. Unexpectedly taking twists and turns in a film-making pursuit that most ordinary homeowners would never dare to take, “Blue Vinyl” is a heartfelt, sobering, and shockingly hilarious exploration of the complex relationship between consumers and industry.
When Judith’s parents decide to put vinyl siding on their house, Judith starts an investigation into the industry that makes the material. Her deep look at this product leads her to many places in the U.S., including Louisiana and California, plus a trip to Venice, Italy. Judith has many eye-opening discoveries about the dioxins that the industry uses to create vinyl siding.Judith talks to environmentalists, scientists, biologists, people who have been affected by the plant chemicals because of their jobs, those who are affected by the air because of their locations near these plants, and a lawyer who completed an in-depth investigation for his clients. This documentary is a must-see. It shows the harmful chemicals that are in vinyl and PVC, especially when so many homes still contain products made from it. “Blue Vinyl” also brings awareness of the cancer from which many have suffered while being a part of the manufacturing process or coming in contact with the air that surrounds these plants. Everyone can learn valuable information about vinyl and its chemical toxins. We award this documentary the Dove “Family Approved” seal for ages 12+.