Cutting fluids — the latest legislation change

Posted on 14 Feb 2019 and read 492 times
Cutting fluids  — the latest legislation change For industrial applications using metal-working fluids, the regulations are forever changing; from 1 December 2018, formaldehyde-releasing biocides have been reclassified as carcinogenic (category 1B H350) and mutagenic (category 2).

All products will be classed as carcinogenic and ‘sensitising’ if they contain 0.1% (or more) releasable formaldehyde; they will be classified as mutagenic if they contain 1% (or more) releasable formaldehyde,. The labelling for all products/formulations containing formaldehyde-releasing biocides will now need to include the phrase ‘may cause cancer’.

Some bactericides used in metal-working fluids are classed as formaldehyde-releasing biocides, because they release small quantities of this compound — known for its preservative and anti-bacterial properties — when subject to certain conditions.

Water-miscible metal-working fluids are highly susceptible to bacterial and fungal growth, with sources of contamination including tramp oil in the system, operators handling components and setting jobs, the incoming water supply and swarf from the workpiece.

Bacterial growth can cause serious problems, such as bad odours, skin irritation, short sump life, fungal growth and blockages — hence the previous use of formaldehyde-releasing biocides.

Anticipating the legislation change, the Leeds-based industrial-equipment and cutting-fluid specialist Rocol (www.rocol.com) replaced formaldehyde-releasing biocides with alternatives before 1 December.

The company says that if manufacturers want to know more about what type of metal-working fluids they are using and if there are any alternatives they should consider, local Rocol sales engineers will be pleased to help.

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