MacLellan Rubber’s breakthrough in nitrosamine-free rubber

January 31, 2018

Nitrosamine-free-polymerUK-based trading/manufacturing firm MacLellan Rubber, which has been working closely with its supply chain partners, has had a breakthrough in nitrosamine-free polymer materials.

MacLellan’s technical team has identified a formulation and process changes that eliminates the use of accelerators, thereby eliminating the creation of nitrosamines whilst ensuring the product quality and performance remains unchanged.

Simon Winfield, Director at MacLellan Rubber, explains: The elimination of carcinogenic Nitrosamines from materials being used in production of baby foods, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical items, food processing equipment amongst other health related applications, has been a key focus for MacLellan in recent years.”

He went on to say, “We’re pleased to announce that our European manufactured EU1935 Food Quality materials – NR, NBR and CR – have now been independently certified Nitrosamine-free by IANESCO (Institut d’Analyses et d’Essais en Chimie de I’Ouest) in France and are available as cured or uncured rubber sheeting.”

Nitrosamines are chemical compounds that are formed as part of the process in rubber compounding and have been accepted as a natural outcome at extremely low levels in polymer manufacture.

Whilst being recognised as carcinogenic in many forms, especially 4-methyl-m-phenylenediamine (toluene-2,4-diamine) and Biphenyl-4-ylamine, which are restricted under the current REACH legislation, the variation in carcinogen potency from NDEA to NDPA is 15,000 to 1; hence the type of Nitrosamine produced could have a severe impact on the potential for contamination within a particular application.

The most common origin on Nitrosamines in polymers comes from the reaction of accelerators, such as Dithiocarbamates, Sulfenamides, Sulphur Donors and Thiurams with Nitrites during the curing process, resulting in compounds such as:


Nitrosamine Analyte (Abbreviation): CAN Number

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA): 62-75-9

N-Nitrosomethyletylamine (NMEA): 10595-95-6

N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA): 55-18-5

N-Nitrosodi-n-propylamine (NDPA): 621-64-7

N-Nitrodi-n-butylamine (NDBA): 924-16-3

N-Nitrosopyrolidine (NPYR): 930-55-2

N-Nitrosopiperidine (NPIP): 100-75-5

Simon added: “Being the first in our industry to achieve this technical milestone is significant for MacLellan Rubber, and particularly important for our customers who want guarantees that the seals and gaskets they are using within their applications are the safest in the world. This breakthrough will enable customers to certify their own products to the highest quality standards.”

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