Understanding Furan No-Bake Resin Additives

April 1, 2014
Some formulations present risks to human health, environmental impact Bisphenol A explained Health/handling risks Meticulous review of alternatives
Q: I’ve heard that bisphenol A (BPA) is sometimes used as a plasticizer or additive in furan no-bake resins.  What concerns should customers have about BPA in furan no-bake formulations?
Concern over the toxicity of bisephonal A (BPA) as a risk to occupational and environmental safety led to its use being banned in several countries, including Canada.
A: Although BPA has been in use for many years, primarily as a plasticizer in polycarbonate plastic bottles, health concerns about its use have surfaced recently, leading to it being banned for use in certain products and applications in many countries. 

There is growing consensus that BPA is an endocrine disruptor (that mimics the female hormone estrogen) which may cause long-term, adverse health effects.  Overall risk levels are low in the general population, but risk is highest in pregnant women and children. 

Occupational exposure, such as handling furan resin in a foundry, also puts workers at greater risk as BPA can be easily absorbed through the skin.  While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared BPA safe and continues to permit its use, Canada has taken a more aggressive approach.  Canadian regulators declared BPA to be a toxic chemical and have promulgated regulations for industrial processors (users) of products containing BPA. 

Despite these concerns and the regulatory hurdles it presents for metalcasters, many resin manufacturers continue to use BPA in their furan no-bake formulations.

Over the past few months ASK Chemicals has changed its CHEM-REZ formulations to include new plasticizers.  We scrupulously examined each potential replacement plasticizer for its impact on foundry operations, casting quality, the environment, the health of foundry workers, and nearby communities.  As a result of this work, ASK has made the proactive decision to phase-out BPA from all CHEM-REZ furan no-bake formulations.

ASK Chemicals remains ahead of the curve in product stewardship, worker health, and environmental sustainability.

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