According to an article published September 6, 2013 on the industry news page PlasticsNews, PVC pipe makers in China may replace lead stabilizers. At an industry conference in Xi’an, China, which took place on September 5-6, 2013, the leading plastic pipe trade group pushed Chinese manufacturers to phase out lead. The Bejing-based China Plastics Piping Association adopted a policy encouraging companies to phase out lead by 2015.
In addition to other applications, lead continues to be used in PVC water pipes in China. It is cheaper than alternatives and may improve performance, however, lead damages the brain and nervous system with developmental lead exposure being of particular concern. According to industry estimates, lead is present in 90 percent of China’s PVC pipe applications. In the 2010, the European vinyl industry committed itself to voluntarily phase out lead by 2015 under the Vinyl 2010 substitution commitment.