Assessment of regulatory needs of Isocyanates under REACh
vendredi 22 septembre 2023
In June 2023, ECHA has grouped structurally similar substances based on the presence of the isocyanate, diisocyanate or triisocyanate moieties and assessed the regulatory needs for 136 substances which are divided into 11 subgroups.
Isocyanates are used in a wide range of products such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides for mono-isocyanates, in the polyurethane products including foams, insulation panels, paints, lacquers, elastomers, coatings, adhesives and glues for diisocyanates and in polymer production, adhesives, sealants, fillers and putties for triisocyanates.
Recognized as respiratory and skin sensitisers, some isocyanates substances are already restricted under REACh. Placing on the market of three specific isomers of Methylenediphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) for supply to the general public is restricted since December 2010. For more details see entry 56 of Annex XVII. Placing on the market of 14 diisocyanates for industrial and professional uses is also restricted since 24 February 2022. Furthermore, since August 2023, these substances can no longer be used unless training on safe use has been completed for industrial and professional workers. For more details see entry 74 of Annex XVII.
ECHA now proposes to broaden the scope of the two existing restrictions to include all the substances in the isocyanate group. The reviewed restriction will address risks to industrial and professional and consumers which results from the respiratory and skin sensitisation properties of the substances. The scope of the existing OEL proposal will also be extended to cover all of the identified isocyanates. The timeframe of these new regulatory measures is for the moment unknown.