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Parliament objects to lead in PVC to protect public health and the environment

MEPs have vetoed a Commission proposal that would have allowed some lead in recycled PVC.

The Commission has proposed to amend the rules concerning lead concentration in PVC. As a general rule, 0,1 % lead would have been tolerated in PVC, but higher thresholds would have been allowed for recycled PVC (2 % in rigid PVC and 1 % in flexible/soft PVC).

With 394 votes for, 241 votes against and 13 abstentions, MEPs on Wednesday rejected the Commission’s proposal.

MEPs believe the proposal goes against the main principle of the REACH regulation, which is to protect human health and the environment. They recall that lead is a toxic substance that can seriously affect health, including irreversible neurological damage, even in low doses. They believe that the levels proposed by the Commission do not correspond to “safe levels” and underline that alternatives are available.

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