SAFE HANDLING OF DIISOCYANATE-BASED PU PRODUCTS
From 24 August 2023, mandatory training will be required for the industrial or commercial use of products that have a free isocyanate content in excess of 0.1%. According to the European chemicals regulation (REACH), all users of these products must have received appropriate training in their safe use.
Expressly excluded from this are the handling and use of joint sealing tapes and multifunction tapes made from PU foam and products with a diisocyanate content of less than 0.1%.
ISO-TOP THERMFOAM „BLUE LINE“, the single-component polyurethane expanding foam for a healthy living environment, may be used without training.
Because of its low-monomer recipe it has a very low free diisocyanate content, making it especially healthy to use. The isocyanate needed to produce it has already reacted out and dropped below the applicable limit.
Ideal for interior renovations and window replacements!
What does the regulation mean for employers and users?
- From 24 August 2023, mandatory training in the safe handling of products containing diisocyanates (with a free isocyanate content in excess of 0.1%) will be required for everyone who uses them.
- Users must be trained by their employers.
- Training, e.g. online via FEICA
- Refresher courses must be provided every 5 years
- Mandatory training is required for all commercial and industrial users of products with a total monomeric diisocyanate concentration > 0.1%.
- Users must be able to provide documentary evidence of having attended a training course, including having passed the final test for the course.
- No proof of training is required when buying or selling the products.
- Retailers are required to pass on the information to users of the relevant PU products.
Where are training courses provided?
We support the Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry (FEICA) in its provision of information to ensure the safe use of PU products (https://www.feica.eu/PUinfo). Use the following link to discover the training concepts for implementation and certification of the required training.
A certificate will then be issued to document successful completion of the course and multiple-choice test.
You will find further information about the associations’ training provision on the dedicated website: https://www.safeusediisocyanates.eu/
There is evidence that some isocyanates have carcinogenic effects. For this reason, the REACH regulation was adapted with respect to the use of diisocyanates in order to protect users.
REACH is an act of the European Union that aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment against the risks that can be caused by chemicals.
From 24 August 2023, diisocyanates may not be used industrially or commercially as a substance or as a component of other substances or mixtures unless the diisocyanate concentration is less than 0.1 % by mass of the total product.
The acute effects are coughing, shortness of breath, runny nose and eye irritation. These effects may not occur straight away and can be life-threatening. The chronic effects include respiratory diseases, development of occupational isocyanate asthma and, more rarely, allergic contact eczema. Diisocyanate can probably also cause and/or promote cancer.
The European Union estimates that thousands of cases of respiratory disease occur every year after contact with diisocyanates.
Isocyanates enter the body primarily via the respiratory tract, but through the skin is also possible. How can I protect myself against isocyanates? Class A or B gas filters should be used as respiratory protection, depending on the product. Safety gloves made from butyl or fluorinated rubber should be worn (BGR 190) / (GUV-R 190). To be on the safe side, always follow the notes in the relevant safety data sheet.
According to TRGS 430, the employer must determine whether substances or methods with a lower risk can be used in place of isocyanates.
According to TRGS 430, you should expressly check whether there are any low-emission products available. The use of alternatives should be checked as part of the risk assessment.
Installers must be trained and be given a certificate to confirm they have passed the final test. The training and test must be refreshed at regular intervals.
The products that can be used without training are:
PRE-COMPRESSED JOINT SEALING TAPES
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL JOINT SEALING TAPES