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DSM advocates evaluation of Styrene-free solutions after recommendation by EU RAC to reclassify Styrene as CMR2 substance

Schaffhausen, CH, 13 Dec 2012 12:00 CET

The harmonized classification and labeling (CLH) recommendation of the EU RAC last week of styrene as CMR2 is a clear signal for the composites industry to start investigating substitute technologies. Following a strong interest from customers and OEMs for styrene-free solutions, DSM is determined to provide the composites industry leading-edge performance and innovation for sustainability. For that purpose, DSM has introduced a full range of Atlac® Premium styrene-free resins that offers a viable alternative for many applications.

Last week the European Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has adopted fifteen opinions for harmonized classification and labeling (CLH), including one for styrene monomer. The RAC agreed with the proposal from Denmark to classify styrene as ‘causing damage to the hearing organs through prolonged or repeated exposure via inhalation’, and as ‘a substance suspected of damaging the unborn child (Reprotox 2)’. The final decision for proposals for harmonized classification and labeling, and other proposals will be taken by the European Commission through a committee procedure.

Styrene-free resin systems have been on the radar for a number of years. There has been a lot of interest for styrene-free resins in applications such as relining, marine, automotive, food and construction. DSM is actively working on the development of such resin systems, and already launched at AVK 2011 a full range of Atlac® Premium styrene-free resins.

The discussion about the hazardous properties of styrene has been ongoing for decades and still has to reach a conclusion. So we need to be realistic about the pace of change”, says Robert Puyenbroek, Chief Technical Officer of DSM Composite Resins. “However, once a viable styrene-free technology becomes available, the likelihood that our customers will want to implement such a sustainable solution will definitely increase.”

It is fair to say that the new proposed CMR2 reclassification is a very important milestone towards creating an environment where more efforts will need to be undertaken to develop cleaner, more sustainable materials”, adds Fons Harbers, European Commercial Director DSM Composite resins. “DSM is well positioned to offer our customers styrene-free products that combine performance and reduce impact on the environment.”