Vox Misleads

Vox recently published an irresponsible story misleading readers to believe plastic food containers contain phthalates that are “leaching" into the food we eat. There’s just one problem: The use of ortho-phthalates in U.S. food packaging is approaching zero percent And this industry trend has occurred despite the fact the FDA regulations approve the use of phthalates in food packaging. Vox, has chosen to ignores these facts since they fail to advance the story’s apparent predetermined anti-chemistry viewpoint. For an accurate look at the safety of food packaging, click here.

Two-Faced Claims By The Iron Pipe Industry

Two-Faced Claims By The Iron Pipe Industry

Lobby groups that hypocritically condemn the conduct of competing industries should spend a little time in front of the mirror before casting their aspersions.

The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) reignited its long running disinformation campaign against PVC pipe in recent weeks. Patrick Hogan, DIPRA’s president, wrote this op-ed replete with inaccuracies and misleading assertions about our material.  But among his statements, he insinuates that the views of certain experts who have been outspoken in advancing the facts about PVC pipe shouldn’t be trusted because they’ve received financial support, he alleges, from the PVC industry.

CheatSheet Spreads False, Fear Mongering Clickbait

It looks like Julia Mullaney at CheatSheet may have been doing a bit of cheating herself, by publishing a story containing the similar distortions about vinyl perpetuated by Reader’s Digest just a few months ago, a story we previously confronted.  

Ms. Mullaney dismisses basic science and misleads readers on a wide range of vinyl products. We’ll focus specifically on her false claims regarding vinyl and PVC to set the record straight:

Forcing Taxpayers To Pay More For Inferior Water Pipes? It’s a Losing Proposition

Forcing Taxpayers To Pay More For Inferior Water Pipes? It’s a Losing Proposition

The infrastructure debate is about to take center stage in Congress – where the issue of spending federal funds to replace deteriorating state water pipe systems will soon come into focus. But if the iron pipe lobby has its way, cities will be forced to use ductile iron pipe for these federally-funded projects, despite competing materials that exist which are less expensive and last twice as long

Surprise! Post Sponsored by Wood Siding Manufacturer on BobVila.com Distorts the Truth about Vinyl Siding


Engineered wood siding company LP Outdoor Building Products (LP) has sponsored an article on BobVila.com that unsurprisingly contains a number of distortions and misleading claims about vinyl siding. To add to the brazenness and clear bias of the piece, the site features a banner ad prominently above the piece promoting LP’s products, as you can see in the screenshot above.

Before we dive into the number of glaringly erroneous claims about vinyl siding contained in this piece, we should point out that the article ends with a disclaimer stating that the post was sponsored by LP. Of course, this disclaimer is code for, “We’re being paid to shamelessly promote LP’s distortions about vinyl siding, but we want to give you the (mis)impression that these are our own opinions.”  

The piece absurdly claims that vinyl siding doesn’t meet the standards for wood siding developed by LP – the wood siding manufacturer that sponsored the article. Of course, the article omits the fact that vinyl siding meets or exceeds stringent standards set by an independent, third party standards-development organization (ASTM International). And LP ignores that vinyl siding is subject to an independently-administrated third-party certification program to ensure adherence to those standards. 

This next claim rests on the false assumption that using a grill near a structure like a shed is a good idea. But unlike vinyl siding, engineered wood siding is prone to ignition at relatively low temperatures. A grill close enough to a building to melt vinyl siding runs the risk of charring or igniting engineered wood siding at the same distance. Additionally, wood siding requires paint, which would bubble up or darken when exposed to the same high temperatures required to thermally distort vinyl siding. And while there have been cases of concentrated reflected sunlight igniting wood building materials, there have been no such cases involving vinyl siding.

Both vinyl siding and engineered wood siding, like any building product, must be properly installed in order to realize their potential performance. And both products are vulnerable to installation mistakes. But even this article admits that the installation of vinyl siding is more straightforward than engineered wood siding, which means it is more likely to be installed properly.

Of course, LP – the real author of this sponsored post – fails to mention any steps the wood siding manufacturer takes to ensure its product is properly installed. The vinyl siding industry, on the other hand, sponsors a third-party installer certification program and works with other agencies to facilitate training of vinyl siding installers – making it the ONLY cladding backed up by both a third-party product certification program and a third-party installer certification program.


As you would expect from a sponsored post, the article paid ad gets this part completely wrong. Many vinyl siding manufacturers offer 16-foot lengths, just as LP offers 12-foot panel lengths and lower. Some companies have even produced lengths of vinyl siding up to 25 feet.

As if the shameless self-promotion wasn’t already apparent, LP attempts to sell the reader on LP’s installation services right after the article admits that vinyl siding is easier to install.

We would hope that even in a sponsored post, BobVila.com would have the sense to provide a balanced conversation on benefits of vinyl siding. And despite the disclaimer, it seems blatantly apparent to us that BobVila.com had very little to do with the composition of this piece, and were financially motivated to blindly traffic LP’s distortions and mislead its readers about vinyl siding.

Breaking Down DIPRA’s False Narrative

We’ve written extensively here at Vinyl Verified about the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association’s (DIPRA) years-long misinformation campaign to deceive the public about PVC pipe.  We thought we’d take a look back at the iron pipe industry, and the many ways it’s distorted the facts to protect its failing monopoly, and line its pockets at the expense of American taxpayers.

1. DIPRA represents old-technology iron pipe manufacturers. About a hundred years ago, the iron pipe industry produced one of the few materials that could deliver water underground. But that’s not the case anymore.


2. America’s infrastructure is deteriorating, and the vast majority of pipe material that’s crumbling underground today is made of cast iron.


3. But thick-walled cast iron pipe is too too expensive to use today. So the iron pipe industry had to figure out another solution.   


4. So DIPRA’s members started producing “ductile iron pipe,” because it’s cheaper to manufacture and transport. DIPRA desperately wants the public to believe ductile iron pipe is the toughest material on the market today. But that’s not true. …


5. Ductile iron pipe’s walls are considerably thinner than cast iron. And it requires a cement liner, which degrades and cracks over time, driving up pumping costs.


6. In an attempt to make ductile iron pipe last longer,  ductile iron pipe users must pay for corrosion prevention control methods which are mostly ineffective (DIPRA doesn’t talk much about that. …)


7. And like cast iron pipe, ductile iron pipe is prone to corrosion, which is one of the main reasons our nation’s underground pipe infrastructure is crumbling.


8. For a long time, the iron pipe industry was accustomed to being the only game in town.


9. Fortunately, material innovations have taken place over the last 60 years that no longer limit taxpayers to pipe materials that corrode and break years before they should.


10. One such product is PVC pipe, which has become the material of choice for a growing number of municipalities across America in replacing their old corroding iron pipes.


11. PVC pipe lasts twice as long as ductile iron pipe.  It’s more durable and affordable, too.


12. But DIPRA’s members don’t like other materials competing with them. So DIPRA has embarked on a distortion campaign to mislead the public about PVC pipe. The group even funded a flawed study that misquoted a notable scientist regarding PVC pipe’s longevity. And when those errors were pointed out to DIPRA, the group not only didn’t correct the study – they kept on promoting it.


13. What’s more, DIPRA is trying to make iron pipe the ONLY material available to select municipalities. They’ve sent letters, like this one, pressuring mayors across the country to block open competition and exclude PVC pipe from the material decision table.


14. DIPRA doesn’t want its members to compete fairly with PVC pipe, because they know it will loosen the iron pipe industry’s grip over the marketplace.

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15. But even kids know that fair competition benefits consumers -- because it lowers prices and fuels innovation.


16. And the facts show that when open competition for water pipe materials occurs, municipalities can save approximately 30 to 50 percent even when iron pipe is the selected material.


17. Because that’s what open competition does. It benefits everyone.


18. Open competition also allows city engineers to have complete authority to make their own material choices.  

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19. But DIPRA is working hard to stifle competition because it doesn’t serve the interests of iron pipe manufacturers. The iron pipe industry wants total command over the market, where it can charge cities whatever they please – and force Americans to pay thousands more for an inferior material that lasts roughly half as long as PVC pipe.


20. Burton, MI found that its installed ductile iron pipe lasted only 15 years.  So Burton’s mayor opted to replace its pipes with PVC pipe. And now the city has clean, reliable water service at a fraction of the cost.


21. And more cities around the nation are doing the same.


These are the facts. And we will continue to tell them, so that the public understands what the iron pipe industry is doing to put its own interests above those of hard working American taxpayers.

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Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Deceives Builder Online Readers on Vinyl Siding

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Deceives Builder Online Readers on Vinyl Siding

A quick read of a recent piece in Builder Online about new-home construction siding options misleads readers to think that all non-wood siding materials, including vinyl, carry a heavy environmental impact.  A closer look reveals that the article is actually a paid advertisement by the engineered wood siding makers at Louisiana-Pacific (LP) Corporation – which spreads falsehoods and deceives readers about its competitors simply to promote its own product line.

LP’s distortions conveniently ignore the fact that vinyl siding offers far more environmental advantages over its entire life cycle than engineered wood siding.  Vinyl siding is built to last, where warranties guaranteeing its service life typically extend 40-50 years. LP’s Smartside warranty starts to diminish after just five years – which imposes a cumulative burden on the environment based on the frequent need to repair or replace Smartside material over a building’s lifetime.

We’re puzzled that LP would expect readers to take its environmental claims seriously when the company hasn’t published any LCA data whatsoever on its Smartside product line.  We’ll base our positions on the facts: vinyl siding is one of the best environmental performance products on the market. That conclusion is supported by BEES, the official life cycle analysis (LCA) tool administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  What’s more, the certification program by Home Innovation Research Labs – a leading green products listing group – cites the environmental attributes of a number of polymeric sidings, including vinyl siding. (LP’s Smartside didn’t make the list.)

LP irresponsibly misleads readers to believe vinyl siding contributes to the small particles of plastic in our environment – but that’s not the case. Such pollution is primarily caused by the improper disposal of single use plastic consumer products. Vinyl siding removed from buildings at the end of its service life typically isn’t irresponsibly disposed or thrown into the ocean – any portion that isn’t recycled is usually landfilled, minimizing the chance that any material particles will be released over time.  LP conveniently omits this in its advertisement.

LP deceives the public about dioxin emissions, too. Burning wood, whether in fireplaces, forest fires, or accidental fires is a major source of dioxin emissions to air and water. The company’s claim that vinyl siding is a significant contributor of it is categorically false. For this reason: The production of vinyl products, including vinyl siding, has grown dramatically over the past 25 years – but the dioxin level in our environment has decreased by more than 90 percent over the same time period.  It’s further proof LP’s distortions about vinyl siding are competitively driven and entirely unreliable.

We’re curious how Builder Online would allow such a grossly inaccurate advertisement, formatted to look as if it was a piece of original content, to appear on its website.

Readers deserve far better than this.