Isocyanates are a significant occupational health risk!

Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) was published on 30 December 2006. Since then, the regulation has been corrected and amended several times. A significant change to REACH Regulation 2020/1149 was issued on 3 August 2020. The amendment to the regulation concerns restrictions on di-isocyanates. According to the amendment, products containing di-isocyanates can be used if:

  • di-isocyanates are present either alone or in a mixture at a concentration of no more than 0.1% by weight
  • the product containing di-isocyanates is exceptionally exempt from restrictions
  • the employer provides training to workers for the safe use of the chemical

In addition, manufacturers or importers of di-isocyanates must provide training materials on the safe use of products containing di-isocyanates. The training is divided into three levels: general, intermediate, and advanced. Training materials and courses must be available in the official languages of all EU Member States to which substances and mixtures are supplied.

According to the regulation, to maintain general occupational safety:

  1. Identify in which work tasks and how the worker can be exposed to di-isocyanates. The goal is to determine the type of training the worker needs.
  2. Implement the safety measures assigned to the task.
  3. Ensure that the worker has been trained in the use of products containing di-isocyanates, and
  4. Maintain a record of the implementation of points 1 and 2.

The training obligation begins in August 2023.

The goal is to protect workers from the hazards posed by handling di-isocyanates. Starting from 24 August 2023, all workers handling di-isocyanate-based products must receive proper training that provides sufficient information about the hazards of the substances and the associated risks of their use. The training must be repeated at least every five years. Furthermore, the aim of the regulation amendment is to eventually replace particularly hazardous substances with less dangerous substances or technologies, provided suitable alternatives are available in terms of feasibility, economy, and technology.

What are di-isocyanates and where are they found?

Raw materials containing isocyanates are widely used in the industry. Individuals can be exposed to sensitizing isocyanates through handling these raw materials and manufacturing or processing polyurethane products, as well as other nitrogen-containing plastics and resins. Isocyanates are a significant group of compounds that cause occupational asthma.

Isocyanate-based products used in new construction and renovation include:

  • Roof coatings
  • Floor and balcony coatings
  • PU adhesives and foams

Are there safe alternative products available on the market?

Yes, there are! Build Care Ltd’s patented ElaProof technology is based on groundbreaking polymer chemistry innovation. Water-based one-component products developed from REACH-approved, isocyanate-free raw materials form an elastic coating when dried, protecting all types of building materials. Environmentally friendly, safe, and user-friendly ElaProof products extend the lifespan of buildings and structures for decades.

ElaProof makes work easier!

  • Isocyanate-free – installation is safe for workers.
  • User-friendly – doesn’t require complex training.
  • Saves time – employers don’t need to maintain a monitoring registry.
  • Saves money – one-component product is ready for use.

Isocyanate-free ElaProof technology has been tested in demanding Finnish weather conditions!

The ElaProof product range includes the Finnish “Avainlippu” – Key Flag products for indoor and outdoor use. Typical applications for outdoor products, ElaProof H and S, include coating and repairing roofs and structures, waterproofing foundations and yards, waterproofing, sealing penetrations, and stopping rust. The M1-classified ElaProof Indoor is designed for indoor air sealing and radon protection.

ElaProof can be used in Swan-labeled buildings

Our products ElaProof H, ElaProof S, ElaProof Indoor, and ElaProof Indoor S are listed in the Nordic Ecolabel’s building product database and can be used in Swan-labeled buildings. Learn more about our products!

ElaProof is a responsible choice!

ElaProof is the first construction product approved for the Responsible Choice selection on, as leading Finnish experts have evaluated them to be a more sustainable choice.