Industry Responsible Care
The product qualities of PVC have ensured it a place as the material of choice for many applications. It is also a safe product. Nevertheless, as with any other materials, it needs to be handled correctly, especially in certain phases of its life cycle if it is to have a role in a sustainable future for society. The PVC sector is a responsible and transparent industry. It continues to improve the performance and safety profile of its product and provides information to stakeholders on such progress.
The European PVC industry makes continuous efforts to reduce, as much as possible, workers' exposure to 1, 2 dichloroethane (EDC) and to Vinyl Chloride monomer (VCM). ECVM has developed guidelines to assess exposure to EDC and VCM, providing a standardized approach to measurements and thereby facilitating progress. Likewise, although PVC dust is considered in most countries as inert and not causing specific concerns, guidelines to assess exposure to PVC dust have also been developed by the European industry.
PVC production processes have been continually improved in recent years and their environmental impact steadily reduced. The European PVC industry recognises that, along with all other manufacturing industries, it must pursue continuous environmental improvement. The European PVC industry contributes towards the world-wide chemical industry's Responsible Care Programme. In 1995, all European PVC producers that were members of ECVM came together to sign a voluntary Industrial Charter for suspension PVC (S-PVC). This committed all ECVM members to stringent environmental standards for PVC production. In February 1999, ECVM members who manufacture PVC by the emulsion process, signed a charter to cover E-PVC.
An updated version was released in 2019 that replaces the two charters, which are no longer in force or valid.