REACH, RoHS, and the fate of PVC

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by Dave Watson

Dave Watson, Director of Engineering, also known as Alpha Wire's resident wire and cable expert was prompted with the question below regarding PVC with REACH and RoHS regulations.  Check out Professor Watson's explanation!

 Q.  Hey Professor, is it true that REACH or RoHS regulations will eventually prohibit PVC?

 A.  No, we do not see this as likely at all.  I’m told that as much or more PVC resin is manufactured within Europe as in the US, so one would expect the PVC manufacturers to lobby long and loud to prevent this from happening. 

What has happened and will likely continue to happen is that these environmental regulations will continue to chip away at some of the ingredients that are used to make PVC.  There are many different types of PVC, but for the most part they are all made of a PVC monomer, plasticizers, flame retardants, stabilizers, and fillers and so on.  A type of plasticizer known as phthalates is already quite restricted, but these have been replaced by other types of plasticizers.  A compound engineer has many different options available for each category of ingredient, so for the most part, when a certain substance is added to a restricted list, it is not all that devastating. 

PVC has been and will continue to be a low cost, high performance insulation and jacket material for the foreseeable future.  For more information on RoHS and REACH compliant products from Alpha Wire, you can download RoHS certificates and updated declarations in our Resource Center.

Have a question for Professor Watson? Send him an email at


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