Materials Science

Silicone based leather chemicals from LANXESS comply with latest ECHA restrictions

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS supports the leather industry in reconciling economic interests, ecological compatibility and consumer benefits. This is why the company has been consistently focusing its leather production portfolio on sustainability for years. Products from the LANXESS Leather (LEA) business unit also ensure concentrations well below the specified limit with regard to the latest restriction by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on cyclic siloxane compounds.

Some of 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 LEA, explains: “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% (w/w) of cyclosiloxane in leather will be exceeded if the chemical formulation is used according to our recommendation.”

In June 2018, 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% (w/w).

“In many cases, silicone based products contain unavoidable amounts of D4, D5 and D6, and these substances are not intended components of the product,” Kleban continues. “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.”

Detailed information on LANXESS products, technologies and services for the leather industry along the entire value chain can be found at