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GPC - Global Product Compliance

Europe proposes an amendment to the use of lead and lead compounds in PVCs

2022-06-09 WTO

Human health exposure Lead Product restrictions / prohibitions Restricted use

On June 8, 2022, the European Commission published a proposal on Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) articles that contain lead and lead compounds. The draft proposal amends Annex XVII, specifically entry 63, prohibiting the use of lead and lead compounds in PVC articles.

Overall, PVC articles that contain a concentration of lead equal to or greater than 0.1% of the PVC cannot be placed on the market. However, there are quite some exceptions, some of which apply to PVC-silica separators in lead acid batteries and PVC articles that contain recovered rigid PVC. To qualify for the exemption, the recovered origin of the PVC material must be certified by an independent third party.

This new amendment is aimed at reducing lead releases and human exposure to this toxic metal while protecting human health overall. The proposed date of adoption is the fourth quarter of 2022 while its entry into force will be 20 days from when it is published in the official journal of the EU. Then the restriction on lead stabilisers’ use and placement of PVC articles containing lead on the market will be postponed for two years after its entry into force. Comment on this will close on August 7, 2022.

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