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Isocyanate Restrictions in the European Union
What does it mean for polyurethane adhesives?
On 4 August 2020, the new REACH Restriction for diisocyanates (such as MDI) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (Regulation 1907/2206).
According to the regulation, chemical products, such as adhesives, containing ≥ 0.1% of monomeric diisocyanate may only be used in the future if employees who may come into contact with the diisocyanate have undergone training.
The goal is to reduce isolated cases of sensitization and resulting asthma when using products containing diisocyanates, or to avoid them altogether in the future.
What does the restriction mean for your company and what is the implementation timeline?
Your employees must be trained in the safe handling of products containing diisocyanates by 24 August 2023. The training can be conducted by an expert in occupational safety or by means of online training. The employer must document that the training has been successfully completed by means of an examination. The corresponding certificate is valid for 5 years; therefore, the training must be repeated at least every 5 years.
If employees are trained, products containing diisocyanates can continue to be used.
The Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry is currently working intensively on the preparation of training documents for users of adhesives or sealants. These are expected to be available from February 2022 so that all users of products containing diisocyanates can be trained and certified by August 24, 2023. We will inform you as soon as the training materials and further details on the training courses are available.
In addition, our lab is constantly working hard to provide you with state-of-the-art products in terms of performance, quality and occupational safety. Therefore, our polyurethane hotmelt adhesives already contain a relatively low amount of monomeric diisocyanate.
For many applications and processes, Micro-Emission (ME) Hotmelt Adhesives are already available with a diisocyanate (residual monomer) content of less than 0.1%, which eliminates the training requirement and means that these products do not need to be labeled as hazardous.
KLEIBERIT offers a completely isocyanate-free Hotmelt!
As the latest development, we can also provide you with our isocyanate-free, reactive hotmelt adhesives for sampling. These do not contain any monomeric diisocyanate at all, but are still fully-fledged reactive hotmelt adhesives.
We would be pleased to advise you on the ME products or the isocyanate-free hotmelt adhesives mentioned above. Please contact your KLEIBERIT Sales Engineer for additional details.
Your end customers are not affected by the regulations, as polyurethane products no longer contain any monomeric diisocyanate after complete crosslinking.
Contact us if you have any further questions about the restriction of diisocyanates under REACH.
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Please also read the info sheet of the FEICA association!
The FEICA association represents the European sealants and adhesives industry.