Why did the EU adopt a Restriction on diisocyanates under REACH?
The REACH Restriction on Diisocyanates was adopted due to the occupational sensitisation health effect they could pose to workers above a certain level of exposure. It is therefore a specific use restriction that is envisaged. Restrictions will target products containing more than 0.1% by wt monomeric diisocyanates.
When will the Restriction apply?
After the publication in the official EU Journal on 4 August 2020 and its entry into force on 24 August 2020, there will be a transition period of three years for companies placing diisocyanates on the market to give them adequate time to ensure compliance. This means the Restriction will apply from 24 August 2023.
Can diisocyanates still be placed on the market in the EU and can I still legally use them?
Yes, diisocyanates remain available on the EU market but training is required for industrial and professional users. The Restriction intends to improve the behaviour of employees at the workplace with the aim of reducing the risk of developing occupational asthma.
Which steps do I need to take under the Restriction?
Industrial or professional users will be permitted use of diisocyanates if they complete a training course ensuring the control of dermal and inhalation exposure to reduce the risk of asthma before 24 August 2023. ISOPA and ALIPA will keep stakeholders informed on the availability of the training materials and courses.
What will ISOPA and ALIPA do to support stakeholders?
Diisocyanate manufacturers have invested in the development of a comprehensive package of training materials, which we are preparing for rollout following the entry into force of the REACH Restriction. ISOPA and ALIPA have successfully launched safety initiatives in the past which have already helped to reduce the number of sensitisation cases significantly. Campaigns like “Walk The Talk” (2006) and “We care that you care” (2010) raised the awareness of workers dealing with hazardous substances and refined measures to avoid contact with diisocyanates and polyurethane hardeners via skin and breathing systems.