The EU has introduced new legislation on the use of products containing more than 0.1% monomeric diisocyanates. This includes 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 from the Sika 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 place a new restriction on the use of products containing more than 0.1% monomeric diisocyanates. These new rules also apply to products such as polyurethane adhesives, sealants and foams used in industrial production and construction.
Since August 24, 2023, all professional and industrial users have to undergo training before they are allowed to use such products. DIY users are not affected by this legislation.
When working with chemicals such as adhesives and sealants, the precautions given in the material safety data sheets are crucial to protect the health and safety of users. One-component polyurethane adhesives and sealants cure by reaction with atmospheric moisture. This reaction is based on the cross-linking of pre-polymers by their isocyanate groups.
When using such polyurethane products, users may be exposed to minimal amounts of unreacted monomeric diisocyanates used in the manufacture of such prepolymers. However, once fully cured, the diisocyanates have reacted and the final compounds are completely free of these reactive chemicals.
For industrial use:
Yes, the current Sikaflex®, SikaForce® and Sikafloor® solutions remain available. Users can continue using them by completing the online training for the product's use case and receiving a certificate that is 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 completing the online training for the product's use case and receiving a certificate that is valid for five years.
Free Training Access
By following the link below, you can receive training and certification for the safe handling of diisocyanates in accordance with the legal training requirements of the REACH Regulation.
The web-based training platform contains different sections. The training selector can be used for guidance on the correct training depending on the products and applications.
To participate in the free training program, go to the training platform and use the Sika code**: FEICA_21_C20
**The Sika FEICA code does not expire, but it is valid only for the trainings on the use of sealants and adhesives. These are trainings 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053 and 054. They can be found by clicking on the 'Adhesives & Sealants' picture on the training website. These training courses cover the applications of almost all Sika products, with the exception of spray applications.
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.
With Purform®, Sika has developed a range of new polyurethane pre-polymer backbones. In addition to their other product specific advantages, every Purform® product has ultra-low free monomeric diisocyanate content. Purform® technology allows users to benefit from the unique performance characteristics of polyurethane while eliminating the need for specific REACH health and safety training. User exposure is significantly reduced and kept to the absolute minimum.
By using Purform® technology for higher-performance polyurethane adhesives and sealants with ultra-low diisocyanate monomer content, we can meet the challenges of tomorrow, today.
Safe Use of PU Products
When using polyurethane products, users may be exposed to trace amounts of unreacted monomeric diisocyanates that were used in the production of such pre-polymers. However, once fully cured, the diisocyanates have reacted and the final compounds are enitrely free of these reactive chemicals.
With Purform®, Sika has developed a technology that further reduces the residual content of monomeric diisocyanates below the 0.1% threshold. This allows users to safely use polyurethane products without REACH restrictions.
|Regular Polyurethanes||Sika Purform® Polyurethanes|
|Content of diisocyanate monomers
||> 0.1 wt%||< 0.1 wt%|
|Training (as per REACH)No
|Additional Cost for Using
Diisocyanates are mainly used in the production of polyurethane products such as rigid and flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. They are present to varying degrees in liquid and pasty products, but react completely with ambient humidity and are therefore no longer physically present in finished, cured polyurethane products.
The restriction does not prohibit either the sale or use of polyurethane products.
Some products from Sika’s product range will be subject to this new REACH restriction.
The restriction applies to any products containing more than 0.1% monomeric diisocyanates. Generally, this is the case for most polyurethane products which are currently on the market, e.g., adhesives, sealants, coatings, flooring, etc .It is important to note that cured products no longer contain isocyanates in their finished state and that the restriction does not apply to them. It also does not apply to products with extremely low amounts of residual diisocyanate, e.g., Sika’s polyurethane Purform® range of PU 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 began working on regulation to significantly reduce these numbers. Diisocyanates can be handled safely if appropriate handling and risk management measures are taken. However, a single incident can sensitize a person to diisocyanates, which can then trigger asthma at even the lowest concentrations. The best way to manage such a risk is to train everyone who works with diisocyanates in their proper handling.
The restriction ensures that everybody who handles diisocyanates professionally has been trained on their properties and the safe handling requirements before using them. It consists of two parts: one applies to PU product manufacturers, 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 successfully completed training.
February 24, 2022: Products subject to the restriction need to be labelled accordingly.
August 24, 2023: Training needs to be undertaken before using affected products.
The training is valid for five years, after which it needs 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 conducted 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 access to the training.
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.