How are PVC’s Regulated in the EU?

Question Posed:

Are there any PVC restrictions put in place by REACH? Are there any PVC restrictions I should be aware of more broadly when it comes to EU-based regulations?

Answer Provided:

There are 10 substances also known as "PVC" or contain the word PVC in the name listed in ECHA, although most have a warning about some type toxin, they are not officially part of a REACH substance list.  There is one substance that is being reviewed to be part of a REACH substance list:

There is one listing for a restriction of lead in PVC (currently in the stage of opinion development) - see “Reference 1”.

Of most concern related to PVC (per the Green Paper developed at the request of the European Commission), is the other substances included in the PVC that are or will be restricted (lead, cadmium, phthalates to make plasticizers, etc.). Many of these substances are SVHCs or restricted under REACH, and soon-to-be under RoHS.

The Plastics Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

The European Union's Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC (MDD) is another one worthy of mentioning. This Directive is in place to ensure that medical devices sold in Europe will not be harmful or pose any health risk.  This was recently recast to Medical Device Regulation (EU) 2017/745 (MDR).

Reference 1 (REACH substance information): https://echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/other/79b87a60e67c4688dab1790cd750b379697ce3e89f49228d5060e53c3b1694f4

Reference 2 (EU guidance on PVC in waste): http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/pvc/pdf/en.pdf

**Article contents valid as of 2017-06-30

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