BRUSSELS, Belgium—The European Community's SafeRubber project said it is on track to find a safer alternative to a chemical used in the production of polychloroprene rubber.
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 vulcanization of polychloroprene rubber—is likely to be restricted by EC legislation. ETU facilitates the rubber cure system by speeding up the creation of molecular cross links, 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,
The EC-funded SafeRubber research project has been working on a suitable and safer alternative to ETU since June 2010.