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EU: Restriction on lead in PVC proposed under REACH

April, 2017

On 22 March 2017, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched the 1st public consultation1 on the proposal to restrict on lead in polymers or copolymers of vinyl chloride (PVC) articles, under Annex XVII of REACH regulations.

All interested parties can comment on the proposal using the ECHA website until the end of the consultation period on 22 September 2017, but comments that are received by 1 June 2017 will assist in the detailed discussion of the restriction proposal.

Table A. Proposed restriction on lead in PVC2

Proposed scope of restriction Articles or parts produced from PVC
Proposed limit < 0.1% by weight (expressed as metal)
Proposed exemption
  • The following article types containing recycled PVC for a period of 15 years from entry into force, if the concentration of lead (expressed as metal) does not exceed 1% by weight of the PVC material:
    • profiles and rigid sheets for building applications;
    • doors, windows, shutters, walls, blinds, fences, and roof gutters;
    • cable ducts;
    • fittings for tubes, furniture etc.;
    • pipes for non-drinking water, if the recycled PVC is used in a multilayer pipe and is entirely enclosed with a layer of virgin PVC in compliance with the general restriction limit.
  • PVC-silica separators in lead acid batteries for a period of 10 years.
  • Articles covered under existing legislation:
    • Articles covered by paragraph 7 of Entry 63 of REACH Annex XVII;
    • Food contact materials covered by Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 and Regulation (EU) No 10/2011;
    • Electrical and electronic equipment covered by RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU;
    • Packaging and packaging waste covered by Directive 94/62/EC;
    • Toys covered by Directive 2009/48/EC.
  • Articles placed on the market for the first time before the date of application (i.e. 24 months from the date of entry into force)
Proposed date of application 24 months from the date of entry into force

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