Safe use of diisocyanates
Polyurethane (PU) training
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%. Details of this restriction can be found in all EU languages via EUR-Lex, the European Union's website offering access to EU law.
FEICA, in coordination with the European Diisocyanate & Polyol Producers Association (ISOPA), the European Aliphatic Isocyanates Producer Association (ALIPA), and several other industries in the polyurethane industry, launched a comprehensive training programme to ensure the safe use of diisocyanates for producers and professional users all over Europe. In this way, FEICA also ensures that all end-users of PU containing adhesives and sealants across Europe continue to handle diisocyanates safely.
The PU Training Platform can be accessed via www.safeusediisocyanates.eu and is accessible across the EU.
FEICA Voucher Code (only valid for the designated training material related to PU adhesives and sealant applications):
- End-Users: With the FEICA voucher code FEICA_21_G, the training is free of charge for end-users. If you are a worker in the construction sector, or a worker applying adhesives and sealants in factories or non-industrial settings, this voucher is for you.
- Manufacturers: If you are a manufacturer of PU adhesives or sealants, you will need to be trained on the safe handling of diisocyanates. FEICA Members were sent a dedicated voucher code (for training, free of charge). If you didn't receive the Member voucher code, please request it by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Members of the National Associations should contact the National Association to receive a voucher code.
FEICA's 'PU info' webpage
To facilitate adhesive and sealant companies to comply with the information provision requirement, a dedicated, FEICA information webpage 'www.feica.eu/PUinfo' was created. A link to this webpage (or QR code) can be added to adhesives and sealants labels to direct to the training platform.
From 24 February 2022, all PU products for which safety training is required can be identified by the following statement: 'As of 24 August 2023, adequate training is required before industrial or professional use of this product.
PU adhesives and sealants
A new restriction on diisocyanates was adopted on 4 August 2020, 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 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 was made available via the leaflet ‘Diisocyanates restriction compliance for end-users of adhesives and sealants'.
In addition, a FEICA article titled 'A safe future for polyurethane products', was published in the December 2021 issue of the European Coatings Journal.
PU adhesives and sealants are versatile, innovative and safe. They 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.
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, have prepared training material in line with the legal requirements, which is available in English from November 2021 and will be made available in all the European Union languages by the middle of 2022. The training material is 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.
Company X Germany GmbH, having a trainer account, is allowed to train all employees of Company X on a group level, including, e.g. employees of Company X France SA. Company X France SA could also request its own trainer account; however, there would be a charge for this. It is a business decision by Company X whether to have one training account for the entire group or to have multiple training accounts for several legal entities.
For further info on receiving a trainer account, please contact ISOPA/ALIPA or check out https://www.safeusediisocyanates.eu/
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 email@example.com.
The diisocyanates industry provides information about diisocyanates and their safe handling on its website.