I think Benn’s right about his assertions regarding vinyl, but the ‘sky is falling’ mentality about it is a bit skewed. On the one hand, it is bad for the environment, from production (PVC, eww) to shipping, and that’s a thing that’s bad. But you could increase the amount of vinyl production tenfold and it still wouldn’t come close to the impact of a single big-box store’s plastic bags. If you want to effectively rail against a dirty industry, there are significantly better targets than records.
I also think the off-gassing bit is a bit overblown. We live in a world of carcinogens. If you live within walking distance of anywhere you can buy anything, the air quality is bad enough that having records in your house is a non-issue. Yes, it’s probably bad for you, but a whole host of things are going to kill you long before your records. You should probably tear out all the plumbing in your house while you’re at it, because it’s either lead (welcome to brain rot), copper (heavy metal poisoning) or…you guessed it, PVC. If you melted down all the records in DJ Shadow’s collection, you might get enough plastic to plumb a decent sized house. You’re living with this stuff every day anyway.
I do understand wanting to make the world a better place and putting your money into things that aren’t harmful, and to that end I can’t really make a case for records. That’s going to be up to each individual as to where they draw the line between enjoyment and activism. I just don’t think there are personal practical reasons to avoid them given how most people live. If you’re an aesthetic living on a mountaintop and drinking the morning dew, yeah, probably avoid.
And I say all this as someone who grew up in the age of records and currently couldn’t give two shits about them. I personally think it’s a terrible medium with no upside other than physical fetishism and misplaced nostalgia, but I don’t think the perceived harm is a reason to avoid them if you enjoy them.