Manufacturing facts

Manufacturing factsThe most significant health and safety issue in the manufacture of PVC was the exposure of plant operators to vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) in the working atmosphere.

This was found to increase the risk of angiosarcoma of the liver - a rare cancer of the blood vessels of the liver - amongst production workers exposed for long periods to high concentrations of VCM. After these problems were identified by industry in the 1970s, immediate measures were taken and occupational exposure was reduced 1,000-fold. No occurrence of ASL has been found since then for plant workers whose employment started after the changes were made. In order to help physicians in the diagnosis of ASL, a guide for histopathologists was issued by a group of leading experts, see below

Relevant document:

Authors: P.P. ANTHONY, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Histopathology, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, and Honorary Consultant Histopathologist, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospitals, U.K.
B. BANCEL, Consultant Histopathologist, Laboratoire d’Anatomie et Cytologie Pathologiques, Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Hospices Civils, France.
N.S. DALLIMORE, Consultant Histopathologist, Llandough Hospital, Penarth, Wales, U.K.

Another safety issue is the risk of dust explosion, which exists in plants handling combustible powders like plastics, coal or such like. ECVM issued guidelines how to apply relevant EU regulations:

•    Application to PVC powder of European Directive