Additives: Stabilisers, plasticisers and others

There are several different types of additives for PVC.

“Stabilisers” enhance the heat stability in moulding and heating operations. “Plasticisers” confer flexibility and certain other product qualities. “Antioxidants” and “UV absorbents” prevent quality deterioration during use of plastic products, and “lubricants”, “pigments” and “fillers” give additional properties to plastic products.

After addition of these various additives, PVC is moulded and fabricated into durable products such as pipes for water supplies and sewers, electric cable coverings and construction materials, or agricultural films (agro-films) and medical devices, which have long been used as important materials supporting our society and daily life.

Stabilisers
Cadmium (Cd) based systems have been available for many years due to their excellent performance qualities. However, in the European Union area, their use was phased out voluntarily as part of the industry’s Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment due to concerns about toxicity and possible accumulation in the body.

Under the terms of the PVC Industry Voluntary Commitment, sales of lead stabilisers will be reduced in stages and ended by 2015. For more information, please see under VinylPlus or go to http://www.vinylplus.eu/en_GB/sustainable-development/measuring-our-progress/challenge-3

Plasticisers
Phthalates are among the most well researched of all chemical substances. In the past 30 years, substantial sums of money have been spent on research to assess whether their use poses risks to human health or to the environment.