Formaldehyde in cutting fluids. What you need to know. | Castrol Cutting Fluids

EU Reclassifies Formaldehyde-Releasing Agents

The European Union has reclassified several formaldehyde-releasing agents (FRAs) such as methylenedimorpholine (MBM), oxazolidine (MBO) and hydroxypropylamine (HPT) as category 1B carcinogens. Previously, formaldehyde itself was classed as a carcinogen – but formaldehyde-releasing agents were not. This is no longer the case. Based on this regulation, formulations with more than > 1000 ppm formaldehyde have to be labelled as carcinogenic.

EU legislation states that “Carcinogenic and mutagenic substances have to be replaced insofar as technically possible.” From 1st December 2018, when the reclassifications in the 10th ATP come into effect, machining fluids containing FRAs for which the maximum theoretical concentration of releasable formaldehyde is above 0.1% will need to be reclassified and labelled as category 1B carcinogens – and handled accordingly. The new legislation impacts a number of Castrol’s metalworking and forming fluids. As a result, Castrol® has decided not to reclassify products as carcinogenic and will no longer manufacture products that contain FRAs manufactured in the EU after the regulations come into effect.

In response to the new legislation Castrol® has a mitigation plan for nearly all products impacted:

  • The majority of products impacted have an immediately available alternative, which is FRA free, and compliant with the legislation. This includes our latest cutting-edge XBB technology, which is free from boron and biocides.
  • For some products, Castrol® is undertaking a technology modification programme, which will change the formulation to be FRA free, and compliant with the legislation. For these products, the intention is to retain the existing product name.

 Castrol Hysol XBB | Castrol Aluson XBB

Castrol® Alusol SL 51 XBB, Castrol Alusol® RAL BF, Castrol® Almaredge 230K and Castrol® Hysol XBB metalworking fluids are Boron and Biocide Free and therefore comply with the new regulations. Listed in the table below is a guide to what these new products replace.

  • They also provide a better machining performance, for longer than standard cutting fluids* – safeguarding quality, while reducing costs, fluids use a dual-action chemical buffer that resists changes in ph.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for expensive treatment additive top-ups.
Old Product  Replacement
Castrol Alusol A Castrol Alusol RAL BF & 
Castrol Alusol SL 51 XBB
Castrol Almaredge Bi Castrol Almaredge 230K
Castrol Hysol S Castrol Hysol SL 37 XBB

    Talk to the experts

    If you would like to know more about the reclassification or need help finding an alternative to the cutting fluid that you are currently using call us on 01827 255250.

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