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Use of diisocyanates: new regulation


A regulation amending Annex XVII of the REACH regulation on diisocyanates was adopted in 2020. This requires specific training for anyone handling these substances as well as the inclusion of the following warning on the labelling: “From 24 August 2023, appropriate training is mandatory for industrial or professional use”.


Who is affected by this amendment?

All companies whose employees handle diisocyanates, both raw materials and ready-to-use products, involve manufacturers and customers. Therefore, suppliers and customers are obliged to comply with this regulation and to be trained. The aim is to restrict the use of diisocyanates in industrial and professional applications only to those users who have obtained a training certification for the safe use of these substances. This will enter into force on 24 August.

What is diisocyanate?

Diisocyanates are organic compounds used in the manufacture of polyurethane products such as rigid and flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. Exposure to diisocyanates occurs during the application and handling of polyurethane products in liquid or paste form, regardless of whether they are applied by spray, brush or roller. However, diisocyanates are no longer present in finished and cured polyurethane products after application.

The increase in cases of occupational diseases in workers handling diisocyanates led to the entry into force in August 2020 of Regulation 2020/1149This link will open in a new window amending Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation as regards diisocyanates. The restrictions on the use of diisocyanates are designed to minimise the risk and impact of diisocyanates on the health of workers and to ensure better knowledge and awareness of the dangers of incorrect handling. Remember that these substances are classified as respiratory sensitisers, such as occupational asthma and skin sensitisers according to the (EC) CLP Regulation (No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament).


Security and commitment

Knowing the risks involved in the handling of certain substances, this regulation requires the commitment of everyone to maintain a safe working environment for workers, so Industrias Químicas Iris, adds this new training to the continuous development of the practice of its staff and offers this information so that everyone: chemical sector, customers, etc., know first hand the evolution of safety in the handling of chemicals. The Ministry of Health has reiterated that this training, in order to be valid, must be given in accordance with RD 39/1997, that is to say by an accredited prevention entity. In our case, the association ASEFAPI, provides this training guaranteeing the safe use of diisocyanates for producers and professionals all over Europe,  facilitating  the compliance of this obligation in the simplest way and according to the law.

At Iris, we move forward to create better products and processes. We create a safe working environment by evolving step by step on the path of protection and sustainability. You will find this information and much more on our website “It’s our planet and we need to wake it up”.

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