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Thursday, 19 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Raw materials

“Every employee exposed to diisocyanates will have to receive training”

Thursday, 22 August 2019

In March 2018, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) submitted the dossier on the restriction of the placing on the market and use of diisocyanates to the EU Commission. We spoke with Jörg Palmersheim, secretary general at Isopa (European Diisocyanate and Polyol Producers Association), about possible effects on the coatings industry.

Workers that could be exposed to diisocyanates will be required to receive training. (Source: designer491 - stock.adobe.com)

Workers that could be exposed to diisocyanates will be required to receive training. (Source: designer491 - stock.adobe.com)

The European Chemicals Agen­cy (ECHA) submitted a dossier on the proposed restriction on diisocyanates under REACH. How will this restriction affect coatings and adhesives producers?

Palmersheim: The coatings and adhesives sector will be required to ensure that every employee potentially exposed to diisocyanates at work receives training on diisocyanates. This covers the majority of product/use combinations in this sector. However, there will be products of simple requirements which will not require such a specialised training on diisocyanates. The distinction between those two groups of products is well accepted by the authorities. There is still a need to develop a legal/technical process on how such a distinction can be made in an acceptable and pragmatic manner.

What deadlines have to be considered during the legislative process?

Jörg Palmersheim

Jörg Palmersheim, secretary general at Isopa, will talk about the regulatory situation of isocynates at the European Coatings Regulatory Forum in November 2019.

Palmersheim: The proposed restriction is currently being discussed by the so-called REACH Committee. This committee is steered by the EU Commission and consists of all member states. There is no timeline on how long the discussion in this REACH Committee will go on, as there are no legal binding timelines. Nevertheless, we expect a decision in 2019 or 2020.

To what extent will the new legislation affect the availability of polyurethanes (and PUR products) in the market?

Palmersheim: This is a very important question and although it is called "restriction”, it is important to state that all types of diisocyanates remain available without restriction in the market for the production of all kinds of polyurethanes.

Event tip

Jörg Palmersheim will give an update on the isocyanate issue at the European Coatings Regulatory Forum on 28 November  in Brussels. The event will also have lectures on many other regulatory hot topics like biocides, titanium dioxide or Brexit. The early bird registration is open.

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