Here in Oregon, the only way our children get to see the light of day during the winter is to slip on raingear, hitch up their boots and enjoy some puddle jumping.  As I was shopping for my son’s rain slicker this year I hit several used clothing stores without any luck.  Finally, I went to my local retailer to pick up a coat and found the icky plastic smell overwhelming.  It made me wonder, what were raincoats really made of?

I was worried that PVC, a toxic chemical often used in waterproof items such as shower curtains, bibs, and sometimes even soft baby’s chew toys, could be a factor.  PVC or polyvinyl chloride releases toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and phthalates throughout its life cycle.  For more info on PVC, check out this website.

When I googled “PVC in children’s raincoats,” instead of getting articles describing the dangers, I found several raincoats for sale openly stating that they were made of PVC.  How bizarre! 

I finally found a few spots that sell PVC-free raincoats on line.,, Lands End, and L.L. Bean all offer coats made of safer plastic.  Apparently many big box stores also have plans to eliminate PVC from their product lines.  When shopping, look for the PVC-free tag in raincoats. 

I’m still in search of the perfect raincoat, so please give me your advice if you’ve found one you love!