“We have for years been in the possession of a large portfolio of organic and inorganic pigments that represent excellent alternatives to lead chromate pigments,” said Stefan Sütterlin, head of the business management pigments of BASF in Europe. As, however, a 100 percent substitution for lead-containing pigments does not exist, customers above all from the coatings industry have so far resisted change.
“We are going to assist our customers, if they want us to, with the change-over,” explained Joachim Straßner, head of marketing for pigments for industrial & decorative coatings of BASF in Europe. “This means that we will help them plan their exit strategy, agree on the quantities that are to be phased out and the technical changeover.”
BASF is one of the largest pigment producers worldwide and has a virtually unique product and technology portfolio. One of the oldest product groups is lead chromates which, due to their properties such as weather fastness and color strength, have been in great demand. Recently, the process for approval prescribed under the European chemicals regulation REACH concerning these substances has been started. Hence, from May 2015, it will no longer be permitted to put into circulation lead chromate pigments without approval by the authorities.
BASF produces lead chromate pigments exclusively on its site in Besigheim, Germany. This is where the future production of alternative products will gradually be developed and expanded.