The European Union has established new laws for the use of products containing more than 0.1% of monomeric diisocyanates, including polyurethane products such as adhesives, sealants, coatings, or injections used in industrial production or construction. Here you can access the required PU training and find alternative products available in Sika's product range.
What is REACH
What REACH Stands For
"Adopted in 2006, REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation. It is a European regulation that aims at improving the protection of human health and the environment from potential risks from chemical substances, while ensuring the EU chemical industry’s global competitiveness is maintained." *
New REACH Regulations
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.
Beginning on August 24, 2023, all professionals and industrial users must complete a training before using such products. DIY users are not affected by this law.
When working with chemicals like adhesives and sealants, the precautions given in the material safety data sheets are important to protect the health and safety of the users. One-component polyurethane adhesives and sealants cure by reaction with atmospheric moisture. This reaction is based on the crosslinking of pre-polymers through their isocyanate groups.
When applying such polyurethane products, users may be exposed to minimal amounts of unreacted monomeric diisocyanates that were used in the production of such pre-polymers. Once fully cured, however, the diisocyanates have reacted and the final compounds are completely free of these reactive chemicals.
For industrial use:
Yes, current Sikaflex®, SikaForce®, SikaMelt®, and Sikafloor® solutions will remain available. Users can continue using them by doing the online training for the product’s use case and receiving a certificate, valid for five years.
For construction use by professional users:
Yes, current Sikaflex®, SikaBond, SikaBoom, and Sikafloor® solutions will remain available. Users can continue using them by doing the online training for the product’s use case and receiving a certificate, valid for five years.
Free PU Training Access
By following the link below, you can receive training and certification for the safe handling of diisocyanates according to the legal training requirements of the REACH regulation.
The web-based training platform contains various sections. The training selector can be used for guidance to the correct training according to products and applications.
To participate in the free training program, go to the training platform and use the Sika code: FEICA_21_C20
Sika's Options to Cope with the REACH Legislation
Sika offers its users a variety of options to comply with the restricted use of diisocyanates. Current solutions will remain available while requiring users to be trained and certified. Additionally, Sika offers a variety of solutions based on silane terminated polymer (STP) or Purform® technology that don’t require any additional measures for users.
Find Alternative Products without Training
Sika, as the leading producer of polyurethane-based sealants, adhesives and flooring, takes the health and safety of users of Sikaflex®, SikaBond®, SikaTack®, Sika Boom® and Sikafloor® products very seriously. This has led to the development of a new range of polyurethane pre-polymers with ultra-low monomer content, to allow continued, unrestricted use of our products by professionals.
Related Sika Expert Knowledge
Diisocyanates are mainly used to make polyurethane products, such as rigid and flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers. They are present in liquid and pasty products to varying degrees but react completely with ambient humidity and are therefore no longer present in finished, cured polyurethane products.
The restriction does not prohibit either the sale or use of PU products.
Some products within Sika’s full range of products will be subject to this new REACH restriction.
The restriction applies to all products that contain more than 0.1% monomeric diisocyanates. Generally, this is the case for most polyurethane products currently on the market, e.g., adhesives, sealants, coatings, flooring, etc. It is important to point out that cured products in their finished state no longer contain isocyanates and that the restriction does not apply to them. It also does not apply to products with very low amounts of residual diisocyanate, e.g., Sika’s polyurethane Purform® range of products.
Occupational health incident registers throughout Europe regularly record precise, albeit low, annual numbers of asthma cases related to work with diisocyanates. In 2012, the German authority BAuA started to work on a regulation aimed at significantly reducing these numbers. 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. The best way to manage such a risk is to educate everybody working with diisocyanates on how to handle them properly.
The restriction ensures that everybody handling diisocyanates professionally has been trained on their properties and the safe handling requirements before using them. It has two parts: one applies to the manufacturers of PU products and the other to professional users.
- To sell a product affected by the restriction, the training requirement needs to be mentioned on the label and the supplier must provide the customer with information about where or how to obtain the required training.
- To use a product affected by the restriction, the employer must document that the user has undertaken successful training.
February 24, 2022: Products subject to the restriction need to be labelled accordingly.
August 24, 2023: Training needs to be undertaken before affected products are used.
The training is valid for five years, after which it will need to be renewed.
The legal text lists the topics to be covered and requires the training to be adjusted to the application process. It can be done either online or in person. The trainer needs to have vocational training in occupational safety and health. The industry associations of the diisocyanate supply chain have developed training material according to these requirements and are providing the training online via a public Internet platform. Trainers can also get access to this training material via the same website.
There is no plan to provide specific diisocyanate training for Sika customers. Sika is helping customers to complete the training online by providing a coupon code for free training access.
You must complete the training if you are using a product with more than 0.1% diisocyanates in a professional or industrial setting. Every product subject to this restriction is required to carry the following phrase on its packaging:
“As of August 24, 2023, adequate training is required before industrial or professional use.”
Sika is also adding this phrase to section two of its safety data sheet and further information regarding access to online training in the product data sheet.
Private users (consumers) do not need this training.
The employer of the user or the self-employed user is responsible for ensuring completion of the training and documenting successful participation. National REACH inspectors can check this documentation.