Additives: Stabilisers, plasticisers and others

There are several different types of additives for PVC.

About additives

“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 converted into mainly durable products such as pipes for water supplies and sewers, electric cable coverings and construction materials, leisure goods, packaging and medical devices, which have long been used as important materials supporting our society and daily life.


Cadmium (Cd) based systems were used for many years due to their excellent performance qualities. However, in the European Union area, their use was phased out voluntarily in 2001 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 were reduced in stages and ended by 2015. For more information, please see VinylPlus®.


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. For more information, please go to