The German Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemicals in the Work Area has re‐evaluated polyvinylchloride [9002‐86‐2] since a new maximum concentration at the workplace (MAK value) for poorly soluble dusts was established in 2011.
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) is a biopersistent granular dust. It is therefore classified in Carcinogen Category 4 and a MAK value of 0.3 mg/m³ × material density for the respirable dust is established in analogy to biopersistent granular dusts. This value is valid for PVC containing no additives and having a monomer content of < 1%. The classification is based on animal data that showed increased tumour incidences in rats exposed to biopersistent granular dusts in the high dose range. These tumours are regarded to be a consequence of the inflammatory mechanism of action, for which thresholds can be defined. Direct genotoxic effects appear to be of subordinate relevance for the carcinogenicity of biopersistent granular dusts. In analogy to biopersistent granular dusts, Peak Limitation Category II with an excursion factor of 8 was established for PVC. Since PVC is not distributed systemically and accumulates only locally in the lungs, no developmental effects due to this dust are expected to occur at the MAK value of 0.3 mg/m³ × material density. The assignment to Pregnancy Risk Group C is confirmed.