Safe use of diisocyanates
Polyurethane (PU) adhesives and sealants
On 4 August 2020, a new restriction on diisocyanates was adopted by the European authorities under REACH, targeting respiratory and dermal sensitisation potentially caused by diisocyanates. The new restriction requires training prior to use for diisocyanates.
FEICA's PU Restriction Technical Working Group (TWG) therefore created a leaflet (now updated) titled 'A safe future for polyurethane products' to explain more about the restriction:
In support of our National Association members, the updated leaflet has been made available in 8 European languages:
- A safe future for polyurethane products - Version2 (English, FEICA)
- A safe future for polyurethane products (English, in cooperation with BASA)
- Eine sichere Zukunft für Polyurethan-Produkte (German, in cooperation with IVK and DB)
- Un avenir sûr pour les produits en polyuréthane (French, in cooperation with AFICAM)
- Un avenir sûr pour les produits en polyuréthane (French, in cooperation with DETIC)
- Un futuro seguro para los productos de poliuretano (Spanish, in cooperation with ASEFCA)
- Bezpieczna przyszłość produktów poliuretanowych (Polish, in cooperation with PZPFiK)
- Un futuro all’insegna della sicurezza per I prodotti poliuretanici (Italian, in cooperation with AVISA)
- Een veilige toekomst voor polyurethaanproducten (Dutch, in cooperation with VLK)
- Een veilige toekomst voor polyurethaanproducten (Dutch, in cooperation with DETIC)
- Varna uporaba izdelkov iz poliuretana (Slovenian, in cooperation with GZS)
More specific information for end-users is available via the leaflet ‘Diisocyanates restriction compliance for end-users of adhesives and sealants'.
PU adhesives and sealants are versatile, innovative and safe.
PU adhesives and sealants are used in a wide variety of applications in construction, packaging, automotive, furniture, engineering, marine, transportation, and many more. PU products are made by reacting diisocyanates and polyols.
As of 24 August 2023, training is required for all professional and industrial users of products with a total monomeric diisocyanate concentration of > 0.1%. To this end, FEICA, together with ISOPA and ALIPA, the diisocyanate manufacturers’ industry associations, is preparing training material for use by adhesive or sealant users. Please click here to view ISOPA and ALIPA’s video on the trainings rollout for the safe use of diisocyanates or visit safeusediisocyanates.eu for more information on training requirements.
The restriction can be found in all EU languages via EUR-Lex, the European Union's website offering access to EU law.
The training material is expected to be made available as of February 2022, early enough for all users of PU products to be trained and certified by 24 August 2023. In addition, the legal requirements should appear on packaging as of 24 February 2022.
For more information, please refer to our dedicated PU info webpage.
Below are some frequently asked questions on the safe use of polyurethane products, answered.
Like that of any other substances, diisocyanates’ use is safe when chemicals are handled according to relevant risk management and safety measures. It is also important to stress that virtually no diisocyanates can be found in finished articles. Diisocyanates are used only as reactive chemicals; they react with the polyol to form the PU product and are used up during the reaction.
Sensitisation means that after exposure, a person could become allergic to the substance. If sensitised, each time the person is in contact again with the substance (even at very low concentrations) the person could have a highly allergic reaction with respiratory impacts (e.g. asthma). The majority of individuals with diisocyanates-related asthma show improvement or total recovery after exposure has ceased.
There is more than one possible method.
The method CAM-0642303-18E is owned by CURRENTA GmbH & Co OHG, and FEICA has a non-exclusive and non-transferable license.
As FEICA holds a license, its members can refer to this license to receive a customer-specific discount.
However, as a non-member, please note that you can buy a license at full price from CURRENTA.
Pass the information you receive from your product supplier on to your customers.
The new regulation only applies to professionals and industry. A separate restriction for consumer use came into force several years ago.
If the importer and his personnel are exposed to diisocyanates when they are opening drums or pouring out drums in a facility in the European Union, then they will have to be trained because that is industrial use. But if they are only shipping products and they do not have potential exposure to the products, then this is like any other shipping activity.
The new regulation was adopted on 4 August 2020 and came into force on 24 August 2020. After a three-year transition phase, by 24 August 2023, all users of PU products should be trained and certified.
The legal requirements should appear on the packaging as of 24 February 2022.
The restriction is targeted at avoiding unsafe handling of diisocyanates, not on restricting product availability. Due to their unique properties in many applications, PU adhesives and sealants will remain widely available.
No, the supplier must ensure that the professional or industrial customer is provided with information about the training requirements. That the customer or user reads the information or even acknowledges receipt of it is not required by the regulation. Furthermore, the supplier must put the following statement on the packaging: ‘As from 24 August 2023, adequate training is required before industrial or professional use’. A confirmation of receipt from the customer is not required.
The supplier has to make sure that the training according to the requirements of the restriction is available to the users. Suppliers do not need to organise training sessions themselves. To this end, FEICA, together with ISOPA and ALIPA, the diisocyanate manufacturers’ industry associations, is preparing training material in line with the legal requirements in all the European Union languages. The training material will be made available via an e-learning platform which accommodates online training, webinar sessions or classroom training given by external trainers or organised in-house. While the supplier is responsible for providing its customer with information about the training, the employer is responsible for ensuring that the training is completed by its employees and that this completion is documented.
A certificate will be issued to show successful completion of the training. The test questions come from a large pool of questions related to the training material, and if you have successfully passed the tests, then you will receive the certificate.
Your supplier will help you with any product-related questions. If you would like to learn more about the status of training developments or other related general topics, please contact FEICA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The diisocyanates industry provides information about diisocyanates and their safe handling on its website.