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Mar 27, 2024
EU adopts harmonized exposure limit values for diisocyanates

The European Parliament and Council adopted new exposure limit values for diisocyanates - published in the Official Journal of the European Union-that have been welcomed by trade associations ISOPA and ALIPA. The new law sets an eight-hour time-weighted average occupational exposure limit (OEL) for diisocyanates at 6µg/m3. Member states have until April 9, 2026, to transpose the new limit values into their national legislation.

The OEL now will be the same in all member states, where previously there were different limits.

"Establishing a level playing field in the EU is important to ensure a harmonized approach across all EU Member States", the associations said jointly. They added that the new binding limit values will require significant investment from the value chain, as indicated in the impact assessment that accompanied the Commission’s original proposal. They, therefore, said they welcome the transitional value of 10µg/m3 that will apply until Dec. 31, 2028.

"This transition period will enable the reinforcement of risk management measures and the implementation of best practices by EU downstream sectors of polyurethane systems, thus ensuring industry’s adaptation to the new limit values", they said.

"We believe that these EU OEL values, in combination with the mandatory training for workers required by the existing EU Restriction under Reach, will ensure a framework which fully protects workers, and which represents an important step to achieving further reduction of occupational asthma cases, while taking into account socio-economic and feasibility factors".

ISOPA and ALIPA, European trade associations for the diisocyanates and polyols industry and aliphatic isocyanate industry, respectively, plan to publish a practical guideline for the industry on how to comply with the new limits. This should be available in the next few weeks.

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