The recent IRC2019 conference and exhibition in London included a poster presentation titled Design of Safer Rubber Accelerators by R.S. Virdi and B.W. Grover of Robinson Brothers Ltd, West Bromwich, UK.
In the rubber industry most accelerators based on secondary amines can produce n-nitrosamines as a by-product during the vulcanisation reaction.
As many n-nitrosamines are carcinogenic, they are highly regulated in final rubber articles and during manufacture.
Substitution of the traditional amino compounds by ‘safe amines’ give compounds that are still active as accelerators, but do not form carcinogenic N-nitrosamines.
In their IRC poster, the Robinson researchers detail a method of predicting the non-carcinogenicity of n-nitrosamines, as an alternative to intensive animal studies for carcinogenicity.
As well as being time-consuming testing and expensive, they note that animal testing requires scientifically sound rationale as to why the study is needed and to satisfy animal welfare guidelines.