24/05/2022 – New regulations ahead

Switch to Borax free lubricants

Already well-known for its commitment to responsible performance, the lubricant producer Condat is once again taking the lead to alert the wire drawing industry about regulations changes occurring in the European Union about borax.


Condat offers borax free dry drawing lubricants, which in some cases, even demonstrate increased performance over traditional borax containing products. © Condat


Condat has always proposed a complete range of borax free wire drawing lubricants. © Condat


The “wire” will be a good place to give information and to explain what is behind this shift, as it may impact your investments and safety procedures.

Borax, a substance under surveillance
Even though Borax has traditionally been used in two types of wire drawing products, surface coatings and dry drawing lubricants, this substance has been controversial in the wire drawing industry for over 15 years. Often employed in wire preparation after acid picking and phosphating, borax coating is used to improve the pick-up of the dry drawing lubricant and to neutralize any acid residues on the wire. It is also sometimes incorporated as a high performance additive in dry drawing lubricants. However, due to its chemical composition, it has been identified several times by the European Union for the potential Reprotoxic danger it represents.

Time to change now
Further to the Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/849 published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 28 May 2021, the regulation on Borax Classification, Labelling and Packaging will change from December 17, 2022. Products containing ≥ 0.3% Borax and/or Boric Acid will be classified as Reprotoxic Category 1B in the European Union.

Meaning, the hazard statement “H360FD”: May damage fertility. May damage the unborn child." will therefore be added to the safety data sheet and the label of these products, accompanied by the "Exploding chest" hazard pictogram.

Huge consequences
In many countries of the European Union*, the law will therefore require
1. Substitution of products classified as Reprotoxic Cat. 1B by non-CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, Reprotoxic) products
2. Otherwise**, the confinement of the installations using Reprotoxic products
3. Otherwise**, the HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) department of the concerned site will have to put in place collective/individual protective equipment suitable for the handling of CMR products.

Other EU countries will have an incentive to substitute products classified as Reprotoxic Cat. 1B without binding measures or equivalent law. But in all EU countries, the disposal cost of used borax containing soaps is likely to increase following their classification as reprotoxic.

The REACH authorization procedure is still pending. But if it is confirmed, all users of products containing Borax or Boric acid will be obliged to substitute these products or there will be very restrictive use measures that will involve factory investments to control the risks as well as a fee of a few tens of thousands of euros. All countries within the EU will be affected.

Switch to borax-free lubricants
Beside the law and this regulation, we can question the fact of continuing to use potentially dangerous products. Social & environmental issues are a main concern nowadays for all industries. Condat considers it has an important role to play on this theme and makes it a priority to monitor the substances used and to improve the formulation of these products.

That’s why Condat has always proposed a complete range of borax free wire drawing lubricants and has expanded it over the years to meet the most demanding applications. Those borax-free lubricants have proven their efficiency, such as borax free surface coatings which offer a higher roughness & deposit weight, plus increased resistance to humidity pick-up compared to traditional borax baths.

Borax free alternatives are therefore possible. Condat offers borax free dry drawing lubricants, which in some cases, even demonstrate increased performance over traditional borax containing products. With high to low fat content, and high to low softening points, there are borax free lubricants suitable for all types of applications.

Choosing a borax free Condat product, means choosing a high performance, eco-designed alternative with at least 1 star at the Condat’s “Lubriscore” rating. It can be helpful to the wire drawing industry in its transition to a borax free workplace.

*For more information contact the country competent authority or Condat sales representative.
**with justification according to studies proving the impossibility of previous step to be included in the Single Risk Assessment Document

wire 2022 , hall 10 booth A 56

Condat SA
104 Av. F. Mistral.38670 Chasse-sur-Rhône, France
Contact person is Nathalie Vidal
Tel.: +33 4 78073838