Aim to help BFA members understand and work with new safety standards in footwear manufacture

As the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) launches a new standard for footwear manufacturing, BFA member Robac Technology is determined to help businesses identify safer alternatives to traditional rubber accelerators.

ISO is currently creating a new standard which looks at critical substances potentially present in footwear and footwear components, named ISO/TC 19577 Critical substances potentially present in footwear and footwear components — Determination of Nitrosamines.

It is expected that this new standard will tighten regulations for the use of rubbers during shoe making processes, as traditional rubber accelerators such as thiazoles and thiurams have been identified as leaving potentially toxic residues in shoe soles as well as generating highly toxic nitrosamines during the manufacturing process.

Kelvyn Soars, Robac Business Manager said: “The footwear industry is becoming more aware of the issues associated with traditional accelerators that can impact their consumers and their environment. For this reason, ISO are reviewing the guidelines of nitrosamines to then issue a standard act as a bench mark.”

 Mr Soars also outlined the help Robac could offer to businesses who’ll have to navigate these new standards: “Robac is capable of providing technical support in rubber accelerators in order to offer bespoke solutions to these challenges. One particular rubber accelerator, Robac AS100, was specifically engineered to be completely consumed during rubber vulcanisation in order to prevent the generation of harmful nitrosamines and zero residue. No residue, no hazard, no risk.”