Epoxies have undergone extensive testing for health and environmental effects. In Europe, the safe use of epoxies is enabled by REACH, the most comprehensive product safety regulation in the world established in June 2007.
BPA, one of the most scrutinised substances, is needed to create BADGE, the most widely commercialised epoxy resin. However, BADGE is a completely different molecule with its own unique properties, not just an aggregate of BPA + epichlorohydrin.
Authorisation or restrictions for BPA will have no impact on epoxy polymers or BADGE, as BPA is used only as an intermediate to create BADGE. Once reacted with epichlorohydrin, the BPA has transformed into a new substance – BADGE. Intermediate uses are exempt from authorisation hence epoxy resins are not affected by the inclusion into Annex XIV.
UBA-BAUA RESTRICTION PROPOSAL
The German Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) and German Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesamt für Arbeitsschutz, BAUA) announced plans for restricting uses of BPA that lead to releases of BPA to the environment.
The Epoxy Resin Committee (ERC) will actively participate in this Call for Evidence and provide data to support this. ERC will also continue the discussion with UBA on the restriction proposal with the goal of clarifying and simplifying the proposed restriction such that it achieves the goal of reducing the level in the environment without affecting uses of epoxy unnecessarily. In addition, the ERC strongly encourages other industry stakeholders to contribute to the Call for Evidence with useful information supporting the design of a science facts-based and risk-proportionate restriction proposal.
Read more about the restriction proposal here.
Other epoxy building blocks