New Diisocyanate Regulations

Published: 02 July 2021

New REACH labelling and training regulations are to be introduced for Diisocyanates, with the first to be implemented by February 2022 and the later by August 2023. The regulations impact professional and industrial users. This fact sheet has been put together to explain what Diisocyanates are, where they are used and what the regulations mean.

What are Diisocyanates?

Diisocyanates are a family of chemical building blocks mainly used to create polyurethanes. These chemical building blocks are reacted with polyols to form a polyurethane e.g. polyurethane foam or moisture-curing polyurethane adhesives and two-component polyurethane adhesives.

Where are polyurethanes used?

Polyurethanes have a long reliable history. They are used in many products, including that of adhesives, coatings and sealants, across a wide range of sectors - construction & insulation, automotive, textiles and appliances are just some examples.

Many of the products around the home contain polyurethane, including insulation in the roof and walls, the sofa we sit on, as well as the sponges we use to clean.

Benefits of polyurethanes?

Polyurethanes are capable of withstanding extreme conditions and temperatures, and currently, there are no commercially viable alternatives.

If we take the example of insulation in the home, it needs rigid strength and durability, combined with insulating properties. Polyurethane adhesives are also often used to bond the insulation board to construction materials due to its reliable strength and weatherproof properties.

The cleaning sponge is also a great example of how resistant polyurethanes are (the sponge and the adhesive are based on polyurethane); it is able to withstand extreme temperatures, water and chemicals without falling apart.

The world would be a very different place without polyurethanes. The creations we often take for granted would not exist.

Are polyurethanes safe? If so, why are new regulations being introduced?

Polyurethanes exist all around us and have been used safely across the globe for many years. The use of polyurethanes is safe when they are handled according to relevant risk management and safety measures.

As highlighted above, polyurethanes are used around the globe safely, with Diisocyanates being the chemical building blocks of polyurethanes. Diisocyanates are known skin irritants and sensitisers, eye irritants and respiratory sensitisers, which is why a new regulation to enhance the safety measures for industrial and professional users is being introduced.

Examples of use and risk are highlighted below:

When Diisocyanates fully react with polyols, the final products are devoid of hazard and risks. e.g. polyurethane foam.

In other products the Diisocyanates are partially reacted. The hazards and risks are still associated with these products e.g. moisture-curing polyurethane adhesives. When the moisture-curing polyurethane adhesive is fully cured, the final adhesive is devoid of hazard and risks.

In some cases, the Diisocyanate is used as a curing agent for a two-component polyurethane product. The hazards and risks are still associated with these products. e.g. two-component polyurethane adhesives. When the two-component polyurethane adhesive is fully cured, the final adhesive is devoid of hazard and risks.

What does the Diisocyanate regulation comprise of?

The Diisocyanate regulation is a REACH Regulation, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 4th August 2020. It addresses industrial and professional use, targeting unsafe handling, whilst allowing adhesives and sealants to remain widely available. The regulation does not impact the DIY market.

The information below has been taken from FEICA slides following their webinar on 26th May 2021:


Product Labelling

Products sold within the EU and UK with a total monomeric Diisocyanate concentration greater than 0.1% intended for professional or industrial use must have the statement below on the product container label by 24th February 2022:

'As from 24th August 2023, adequate training is required before industrial or professional use’.

This sentence should be visibly distinct from the rest of the label information.

Apollo’s polyurethane products contain Diisocyanate levels above 0.1%, which means they will require the new REACH statement e.g. moisture-curing polyurethane adhesives and two-component polyurethane adhesives.

Apollo Labelled Products: You will see Apollo labelled products contain the statement above by 24th February 2022.

Customer Branded Products: If you take a product with a general health and safety label, you will see the statement above on the label by 24th February 2022. If you take a fully branded label/pre-printed packaging, your account manager or Apollo Marketing will be in touch with you to discuss the amendments required to your labels/packaging.



The deadline to start implement training for employers and self-employed (industrial and professional use) has been set as 24th August 2023.

Industry awaits further details on training, with training methods currently being trialled. 

We will update you once we have further information on the training. In the meantime, if you are a private-label customer, Apollo Marketing or your Account Manager will be in touch over the coming weeks and months to discuss label amendments.