Biocides transition in the EU

In 2019 the substance-specific concentration limits for methylisothiazolinone (MIT) will be reduced in many applications.

Products that are preserved with MIT then have to be labeled with additional hazard warnings.

Therefore, companies should prepare to changeover to alternative active ingredients for paints, varnishes and adhesives, as well as washing and cleaning products in a timely manner.

"The trend is moving away from MIT, given these significant constraints", says David Zilm, Sales Manager at Vink Chemicals.

Particular sectors affected are the uses for in-can preservation and cooling lubricant additives for metalworking.

“However, a simple reduction of the active ingredient is not the solution, as this poses more risks.

“For example, too low concentrations can cause bacterial resistances.

“We therefore offer a wide variety of combinations as alternatives," highlights David Zilm. 

Methylisothiazolinone is a proven preservative that has been used successfully for many years in paints, varnishes, adhesives, washing, care and cleaning products.

However, the EU has classified mixtures which contain MIT as skin sensitising according to Category 1A and therefore have set a new substance-specific concentration limit of 15ppm.

The new limit is valid from 2019 and represents a significant reduction of the current level of 100ppm.

Therefore, a mixture containing MIT at a concentration of 15ppm or higher must then be marked with the hazard warning H317 "May cause an allergic skin reaction”.

"For Do-It-Yourself applications, the hazard statement H317 is simply unthinkable," says the biocide expert.

As methylisothiazolinone is not effective with an active substance content below 50ppm, alternatives are necessary.

Vink Chemicals has excellent active substance formulations within its product range, which do not require the hazard warning H317.

One example is Vinkocide KN, a combination product of benzisothiazolinone (BIT) and sodium pyrithione.

Vink Chemicals recommends biocides users to take advice on preparation processes and suitable alternatives soon and use the time before the transition for compatibility and efficacy testing.

The company offers a complete all-round service on this subject for the manufacturers of lacquers, paints, adhesives, washing and cleaning products.

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