ECHA Review Finds No Need to Tighten TDI Restrictions

06.12.2013 -

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has concluded that there is no need for farther-reaching restrictions on the use of polyurethane chemical TDI in European work places if current occupational exposure limits are respected, and good control is practised. The agency responsible for administering the REACH program based its recommendations on an evaluation by member state Poland, which did not ask for further information on the chemical suspected of causing isocyanate-related asthma.

ECHA's evaluation of TDI and three other substances, ethylene oxide (EO), TDI starting material toluene and tributyl phosphate, began in 2012. For all four, it said, the evaluating member states did not ask for further information, and there was therefore no draft decision. 

In its evaluation of EO, Austria, said a community level agreement is needed to determine an acceptable risk level for workers and the general population with regard to the carcinogenic potential of this and other substances. It noted that EO may cause allergic skin reactions.

Finland, which evaluated toluene, said it agreed with the EU's Risk Assessment Report rom 2002, which recommended 20 ppm as a more appropriate long-term exposure level than the current 50 ppm.

In its review of tributyl phosphate, Hungary said it saw no need for any additional risk management measures, stating that "the current CLP classification for the human health endpoints is appropriate."