Further REACH regulations for aprotic solvents DMF, DMAc and NMP pending

Organic solvents still play an important role in the paint and varnish industry, including the aprotic solvents dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethylacetamide (DMAc) and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), even though the solvent contents have been significantly reduced in recent years. DMF, DMAc and NMP are EU-harmonised as toxic to reproduction, and the substance can also irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. DMF is thus a CMR substance (Carcinogens – Mutagens – Reprotoxic) and was therefore included in the SVHC Candidate List (Substances of Very High Concern) in December 2012 and proposed for inclusion in REACH Annex XIV (Authorisation List) in ECHA’s 5th Recommendation List in February 2014.

What does this mean for you:

In October 2018, the EU Commission submitted an RMOA (Regulatory Management Option Analysis), which foresees the restriction route as a proven risk mitigation measure for the three aprotic solvents NMP, DMF and DMAc. NMP users have to comply with the established restrictions since May 2020. DMF will now be the other aprotic solvent to follow this pathway.

What’s next:

The EU has announced that it will also regulate the other SVHC-listed dipolar aprotic solvents. A clear indication of this is the publication of the restriction proposal for DMF shortly after the publication of the NMP restriction (October 2018). For DMF, a limit value (DNEL = Derived No Effect Level) for long-term inhalation exposure of 6 mg/m3 and a worker-related harmonised DNEL for long-term dermal exposure of 1.1 mg/kg body weight/day have been set. These are still significantly below the limit values of NMP (14.4 mg/m3 and 4.8 mg/kg/day).

Looking for an alternative to NMP or other SVHC-listed solvents?

GB-Chemie offers Eastman Tamisolve® NxG, the next generation dipolar aprotic solvent that is not CMR classified or SVHC listed.
Tamisolve® NxG is a versatile, biodegradable, dipolar aprotic solvent that has been successfully used in a variety of industrial applications including PUR dispersion coatings, can coatings, tribological coatings, industrial cleaners, paint strippers and as a synthesis solvent for various polymers.

Overview of product properties:

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