Using the Safest Adhesive?
For 2015, we are pleased to announce a new service to our customers. As Irelands leading manufacturer of industrial glue and sealants, we are very familiar with the hundreds of companies all over Ireland, using a myriad of industrial adhesives, some of which contain solvents, isocyanate, aziridine, colophony and metal oxides (to name a few).
Often, we see situations where the customer is using the incorrect adhesive, either from a process or health & safety point of view. From January, we can do the following for you:
- Our Chemist will visit your factory & review the adhesives being used in your manufacturing processes.
- We will evaluate the current engineering controls, including high & low level extraction etc.
- Our chemist will establish the suitability of the safety equipment being used.
- We will study the safety data sheets for the adhesives.
- We will suggest alternative products, offering the same technical performance, but with lower hazard.
- If no alternative exist, we will advise on measures to increase the safe use of the adhesive.
There are various adhesive components which can cause health issues, and in a recent case, isocyanate’s were of particular concern. These are a family of highly reactive, low molecular weight chemicals, widely used as crosslinking agents in the adhesives sector. Their function is to increase the technical properties of the products in which they are used. For example, they increase the strength, water resistance & heat resistance of many adhesives.They are used in both solvent based, water based and solvent free adhesives and sealants. Isocyanate’s are also found in sealants, in particular polyurethane sealants, in which they cause the sealant to cure.
Unfortunately isocyanate’s are powerful irritants to the mucous membranes of the eyes and also the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. In some individuals, direct skin contact can cause marked inflammation. Isocyanate’s can also sensitize workers, making them subject to asthma attacks if they are exposed again.
There is evidence that both respiratory and dermal exposure can cause extreme health issues in some people. Workers potentially exposed to isocyanate’s who experience persistent or recurring eye irritation, nasal congestion, dry or sore throat, cold-like symptoms, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness should see a Doctor with knowledge in work-related health problems.
As an example of our work, in a recent case, we advised a customer on the precise engineering controls required for using the isocyanate and advised on the principal methods for minimizing isocyanate exposure in the factory concerned. We can also advise on other ancillary controls, such as worker isolation and the use of personal protective equipment such as respirators and personal protective clothing to prevent dermal exposure.
In all cases, chemicals must me marked in accordance with S.I. No.76/2007 – European Communities (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Preparations) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. Section 21, 3 specifically refers to isocyanates.The label on the packaging of adhesives containing isocyanates, as monomers, oligomers, prepolymers, etc., or as mixtures of these, must bear the following inscriptions: Contains Isocyanates- See Information Supplied by the Manufacturer.
This service is unique to us. As Irelands only research based manufacturer of adhesives, it is part of what we do.