Diisocyanate is a generic term used for a group of chemicals presenting two ‘NCO’ ends in their chemical structure. These are reactive groups that are used to make polyurethane polymers (PU), like in polyurethane coatings which offer high chemical resistance. The PU chemistry is also used in a lot of other applications such as insulation panels used in construction, spray foams or bed mattress.
The reactive groups of the chemical substances may cause asthma and skin allergy and therefore users must protect themselves during their jobs. Also bystanders run the risk during application, so they must be kept away or protected as well. Once the Diisocyanates have chemically reacted the final dried products (the articles) they have no more reactive group and the risk is therefore gone.
An EU Restriction under REACH (Regulation 1907/2006) has been published on 23 August 2020 (Commission Regulation 2020/1149) and says that industrial and professional users of this reactive chemistry first have to get a training to best prepare themselves for their job. CEPE, together with the manufacturers of PU chemistry and other downstream user sectors, fully support this initiative and are actively working on its effective implementation. Industry intends to make training courses available in all EU languages at the latest in 2022. The labels of products in scope will have to bear at the latest by 24 February 2022 the following sentence “As from 24 August 2023 adequate training is required before industrial or professional use”.