Enhancing worker protection: EU Sets New Exposure Limit Values for the Safe Use of Diisocyanates

ISOPA and ALIPA welcome the publication of new exposure limit values for diisocyanates in the Official Journal of the EU.[1] Following the formal adoption by the European Parliament and the Council in February 2024, the new law sets an 8h time-weighted average (TWA) occupational exposure limit (OEL) for diisocyanates at 6 µg NCO / m3. Member states shall transpose as such the new limit values by adapting their national legislation by 9 April 2026.

Today, EU Member States have different OEL levels for individual diisocyanates across the Union. Establishing a level playing field in the EU is important to ensure a harmonised approach across all EU Member States.

These new binding limit values will require a significant investment from  the major part of the value chain, as indicated in the Impact Assessment accompanying the initial Commission proposal. In this regard, ISOPA and ALIPA welcome the transitional value of 10 μg NCO / m³ (TWA) that will apply until 31 December 2028. This transition period will enable the reinforcement of risk management measures and the implementation of best practices by EU downstream sectors of polyurethane systems, thus ensuring industry’s adaptation to the new limit values.

In summary, we believe that these EU OEL values, in combination with the mandatory training for workers required by the existing EU Restriction under REACH, will ensure a framework which fully protects workers, and which represents an important step to achieving further reduction of occupational asthma cases, while taking into account socio-economic and feasibility factors.

ISOPA and ALIPA will publish in the next weeks a practical guideline for industry and professionals on how to comply with the new limit values.


For more information, please contact:

Brieuc Lits – Public Affairs & Communications Officer – – +32484145687


PDF version is available here.