The Commission of the European Union (EU) has implemented new restrictions regarding the use of the chemical diisocyanates under its regulation addressing the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals, or REACH (Regulation (EC) N 1907/2006.
Diisocyanates are essential chemical building blocks used in the creation of foams, sealants and coatings found in a variety of products and applications. However, recent research has found that dermal and inhalation exposure to diisocyanates can lead to occupational asthma in workers, and has been identified as a significant occupational health problem throughout the EU.
Published in early August in the Official Journal of the European Union, Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/1149 amends the text of Annex XVII of the REACH regulation to set a new concentration limit for diisocyanates of 0.1% by weight in a substance or a mixture. In addition, the amended Annex now also includes minimum requirements for training that must be provided to industrial and professional users of diisocyanates on the use and handling of the substance.
The Commission Regulation grants economic operators a transition period of three years for compliance with the requirements in the amended Annex, primarily to facilitate the adoption and implementation of the new training requirements.