Legislation change – 4th August.
Posted on August 3, 2023
Courtley Health and safety would like to inform you that as of August 24th 2023, in accordance with the requirement as laid down in the Restriction of diisocyanates under REACH, as published on August 4th 2020 by the European Commission, all professional and industrial users of products containing diisocyanates are required to complete mandatory safe handling training.
Diisocyanates are widely used in different applications in industry, most notably in the manufacturing of polyurethanes (that are used for various purposes) and as hardeners in industrial paints, glues, varnishes and resins. The largest use of isocyanates in industry involves the production of polymers.
The European Union has put in force a new restriction on the use of products containing more than 0.1% of monomeric diisocyanates. These new rules will also apply to products such as polyurethane adhesives, sealants and foams used in industrial production and construction work.
This restriction lays down requirements for the use and placing on the market of diisocyanates as substances on their own, as a component of other substances or in mixtures for industrial and commercial uses in concentrations of more than 0.1% w/w. The intention of this restriction is to ensure that workers across the EU are provided with relevant instructions on the safe handling of diisocyanate containing products.
DIY users are not affected by this law.
The most commonly used diisocyanates include methylenebis (phenyl isocyanate) (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). Other common diisocyanates include naphthalene diisocyanate (NDI), methylene bis-cyclohexylisocyanate (HMDI)(hydrogenated MDI), and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI).
The main effects of hazardous exposures are occupational asthma and other lung problems, as well as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
Diisocyanates can be handled safely if adequate handling and risk management measures are in place. However, a single incident can sensitize a person to diisocyanates which, from this point onward, can then induce asthma at even the lowest concentrations.
To ensure that employees can continue to work safely with diisocyanates, new training requirements will become mandatory for professional and industrial users of products with a total concentration of monomer diisocyanate above 0.1 from August 24, 2023, and every five years thereafter.
Precautions to be taken:
- Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
- In case of inadequate ventilation wear respiratory protection.
- Wear protective gloves – Hands are fragile, which is why it is vital to use good protective gloves to protect your employees against chemical substances.
- Safe Handling Training for all users is mandatory
The EU associations of isocyanate manufacturers (ISOPA and ALIPA) have developed a training program in close cooperation with the relevant industry associations (such as the European Paint and Coatings Association CEPE). The training can be completed online (in the form of eLearning) or by following a classroom training by a certified trainer.
More information, as well as a link to the eLearning module is available on the following website: www.safeusediisocyanates.eu
We offer Face Fit Testing FREE to our Members, on the second Wednesday of every month. Our next open day is Wednesday 9th August 2023.
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Should you have any further questions please contact Courtley on:
0151 545 0497