Mandatory training for the safe use of diisocyanates: Key aspects
Diisocyanates are used throughout the European Union as basic chemical components in a wide range of sectors and applications, especially in foams, sealants, coatings, and paints, among others.
Diisocyanates are classified as respiratory sensitizers and skin sensitizers with respect to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 of the European Parliament (CLP Regulation).
Respiratory sensitization, due to exposure both through the skin and by inhalation of diisocyanates, can cause occupational asthma in workers, which is considered a serious occupational health problem within the European regulatory framework.
For this reason, it is necessary to restrict the industrial and professional use of these components, as well as their marketing, either as substances or as part of a mixture.
The goal is that, through specific training, the user can perform tasks related to the handling and use of diisocyanates safely, understand the dangers and risks associated with their use, and have a minimum knowledge of good work practices and appropriate risk management measures.
Next, we will try to solve the main doubts related to the training and safe use of these substances in the paint and coating sector.
Who is obliged to carry out the training
As we pointed out earlier, training in the safe use of diisocyanates is a mandatory action for all professional users who intervene in the handling of products whose formulation contains diisocyanates with a concentration equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight.
Certification in the safe use of diisocyanates has a validity of 5 years. After this period, the professional will have to renew their certification again.
By handling, we mean that they can handle open containers and/or perform product applications, regardless of whether they are carried out by gun, brush or roller.
It should be noted that the user who only handles closed containers is not obliged to carry out this training.
Changes in safety data sheets and containers
Since February 24, 2022, it is mandatory for the label of every container containing diisocyanates with a concentration equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight to display the following text: "From August 24, 2023, appropriate training is required before industrial or professional use."
Which BESA products contain diisocyanates?
Among the extensive range of BESA products, this regulation only affects our polyurethane hardeners with a diisocyanate concentration equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight.
Organizations that provide training
Currently, this training is jointly provided by the following European associations:
- ISOPA: European Association of Polyol and Aromatic Diisocanate Producers.
- ALIPA: European Association of Aliphatic Isocyanate Producers.
What should I do to obtain my certification for safe use of diisocyanates? Steps to follow
Step 1: Access to the online certification platform for safe use of diisocyanates
The training is carried out through an online platform. You can access it through the following button:
Once we have accessed the website, we will choose our language in the upper right part of the page, and click on the "Training List" link, which will take us to the list of different trainings.
Step 2: Selection of the course to be taken
As we can see when accessing the list of trainings related to the safe use of diisocyanates, there are many options presented according to the type of work and sector, which may be confusing for the user when it comes to knowing which certification may suit their needs best.
As a piece of advice, at BESA we believe that the "003 - Spraying in a ventilated booth, open mixtures, cleaning and waste" training is a course applicable to the vast majority of our clients, and extendable to most professionals involved in operations of handling and using diisocyanates in painting.
However, we recommend that each user inform themselves to check firsthand if their work operations may be related to any other of the courses offered, in which case they should carry out the relevant training.
We access the course detail, where all the aspects that will be discussed in the course are described, and click on "Registration".
We proceed to registration by completing the fields in the "Contact Information", "Company" and "Invoice" sections.
Once registered, we will receive an email confirming subscription to the course, which includes a link to create our account on the course management platform.
The next step will be to set a password, and then access the platform with our email used in the course registration and entering the password we just created.
We will access a screen similar to this:
In this way, we would be ready to start the training.
Diisocianatos: Preguntas Frecuentes
Through the following questions, we will try to clear up some doubts related to diisocyanates in painting, risks and implications.
What are diisocyanates?
Together with polyols, diisocyanates form the basic components of polyurethane. They are mainly used in the manufacture of foams, elastomers, paints or varnishes. Diisocyanates are hazardous substances and require training for safe handling.
Risks associated with the use of diisocyanates
As with other chemical substances, the danger in the use and handling of diisocyanates is determined by the safety measures adopted and the relevant risk management. The main risks have to do with skin sensitization and respiratory sensitization. In the latter case, it can cause different respiratory diseases (for example occupational asthma). Continuous exposure to these substances can increase sensitization, causing allergies and respiratory problems.
It should be noted that diisocyanates have not been detected in finished articles. Diisocyanates are only used as reactive chemical substances. In this way, they react with the polyol to form the polyurethane product, and they are consumed during curing.
How to know if a product contains diisocyanates
Among the sources of information that will indicate whether a particular product contains diisocyanates, are:
- Identification label on container.
- Product safety data sheet.
- Regular training and product usage instructions (designation of hazardous substances, hygiene and exposure measures, PPE, etc).