Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has said that polymer silicones can be used safely, if they are used as intended, in the leather industry. “In our experience, they represent an economical, sustainable and safe chemical product class,” the company said.

In a statement, the company said it supports the leather industry in reconciling economic interests, ecological compatibility and consumer benefits, and has been consistently focusing its leather production portfolio on sustainability for years.

According to Lanxess, products’ concentrations are well below the specified limit with regard to the latest restriction by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on cyclic siloxane compounds. Some of the silicone-based products marketed by Lanxess for the manufacture of leather, contain trace amounts of cyclosiloxanes as unavoidable raw material residue in the manufacture of leather chemicals. Dr Martin Kleban, HSEQ representative at Lanxess, said: “Given the maximum concentration in the chemical formulation and the amount of product applied in leather manufacture, it is highly unlikely that the reporting threshold of 0,1 percent (w/w) of cyclosiloxane in leather will be exceeded if the chemical formulation is used according to our recommendation.”

In June, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) included the chemicals D4 (octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane), D5 (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) and D6 (dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane) to the EU REACH Candidate List for Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The notification requirement for substances, mixtures or articles containing D4, D5 or D6 has been set at a concentration of 0.1 percent (w/w). Kleban said: “In many cases, silicone based products contain unavoidable amounts of D4, D5 and D6, and these substances are not intended components of the product.” “In our opinion, polymer silicones can be used safely, if they are used as intended. Furthermore, in our experience, they represent an economical, sustainable and safe chemical product class. After all, we want to offer our customers safe, high-quality products,” he added.

From Trade-Arabia New Service