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EPA Weighs Coating TDI Restrictions

Monday, January 19, 2015

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Coatings, adhesives and other products containing harmful chemicals are the focus of a new federal proposal to limit the use of those chemicals.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says its proposed "Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI) and Related Compounds; Significant New Use Rule" will protect consumers from "new uses and imports of the harmful chemicals."

TDIs are widely used in the production of polyurethanes and consumer products, including coatings, elastomers, adhesives and sealants.

©iStock.com / dmbaker

Under the proposed rule, the EPA would require manufacturers and importers of consumer products with TDIs to notify the agency at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in consumer products at levels over 0.1 percent by weight.

The chemicals can also be found in products used in and around homes and schools, according to the EPA.

Evaluating Chemical Use

The EPA says that diisocyanates are well-known dermal and inhalation sensitizers in the workplace. They can cause asthma, lung damage and, in severe cases, death.

EPA's proposed action, a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, would require manufacturers, including importers, to notify the EPA at least 90 days before starting or resuming new uses of these chemicals in consumer products at levels above 0.1 percent by weight.

The EPA would then evaluate the intended use of the chemicals, and possibly take action to prohibit or limit the activity.

toluene diisocyanate

TDI is used as a chemical intermediate in the production of foams, coatings, elastomers and other polyurethane products. Public comments are being accepted for 60 days through the docket here.

The new rule is proposed for 2,4-toluene diisocyanate; 2,6-toluene diisocyanate; and TDI unspecified isomers.

According to the EPA, TDIs and related compounds are generally "high production volume chemicals," meaning the U.S. produces or imports over 100 million pounds or more each year.

Public comments are being accepted for 60 days. The public comment docket can be accessed here.


Tagged categories: Coating chemistry; Coatings manufacturers; Construction chemicals; EPA; Health and safety; Isocyanate; Regulations

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