Ministry of Environment and Forests sets standards for use of lead in PVC pipes

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021

The scare that water passing through commonly-used Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes used in water supply may contain toxic material like lead has led the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to publish draft rules to regulate the use of lead stabiliser in PVC pipes and fittings. The draft rules have been published after the National Green Tribunal in March earlier this year asked MoEF to finalise rules within two months.

The rules state that every manufacturer and importer of the PVC pipes and fittings shall ensure to comply with the limits of the lead extraction as specified for the Indian Standards by the Bureau of Standards (BIS).

Standards for PVC pipes

MoEF has fixed standards for PVC pipes and fittings used in potable water supplies, agricultural use, drainage and sewage systems. It has specified that the lead extraction limits in PVC pipes and fittings should not exceed 1 parts per million during first extraction and it should not be more than 0.05 ppm during third extraction.

The rules state that the manufacturers shall be prohibited to use lead or lead compounds as stabiliser in manufacturing of PVC pipes and fittings so also the importers will be banned from importing such products. Such products will not be exported too.

The rules further state that the manufacturers will have to obtain a licence from the BIS within a period of six months from the date of publication of these rules and emboss ‘standard mark,’ on all the PVC pipes in accordance with the specification provided in the licence issued by the BIS. It shall be embossed on PVC pipes that the limit of lead is not exceeding the limit prescribed and ensure that durability and legibility of the embossment up to life of the PVC pipes and fittings, the rules state. They will also mention name and address of manufacturer and importer, the date of manufacture and import and the name of country of importer on the pipes and fittings, the draft says.

MoEF has appointed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as the nodal agency for implementation and enforcement of the provision of these rules. To ensure compliance, such pipes will be checked from time to time by CPCB and BIS and manufacturers will have to submit test reports. MoEF has invited suggestions and will finalise the draft in two months time.

Published on September 27, 2019
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