ERJ staff report (BC)
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission (EC’s) SafeRubber research project said it is on track to find a safer alternative to a chemical used in the production of polychloroprene rubber, reports Rubber & Plastics News.
The SafeRubber researchers expect ETU, or ethylene thiourea – CAS: 96-45-7 – an accelerator molecule most commonly used for more than 80 years in the vulcanisation of polychloroprene rubber – is likely to be restricted by EU legislation. ETU facilitates the rubber cure system by speeding up the creation of molecular crosslinks, decreasing process duration and increasing physical properties.
However ETU is classed toxic to reproduction. Therefore its use could be forbidden or restricted at some time in the future under the REACH regulations.
The EC recently contracted a consultant to collect relevant information on the presence in articles of a list of CMR 1A and CMR 1B substances, which include ETU, and on the availability of alternatives.
SafeRubber has been working on a safer and suitable and alternative to ETU since June 2010.