Methyl Ethyl Ketoxime (MEKO)

Posted in Product News and Information by Firwood Paints Ltd on August 6th 2015

Methyl Ethyl Ketoxime (MEKO)

Without the use of suitable additives alkyd based paints will form skins in the paint tin which need to be carefully removed prior to use. Traditionally the paint industry has used a slow evaporating solvent called Methyl Ethyl Ketoxime to prevent skins forming in the paint can.

The MEKO additive is added in very small proportions to the paint typically less than 0.5%.
As a consequence of research carried out for the REACH regulations concern has been expressed in Germany that MEKO is possibly a carcinogen and they are proposing that it is classified as a Cat 1B Carcinogen.

In anticipation of this Firwood introduced a programme of replacing MEKO in their paints with an oxime free anti-skinning additive and phased out the use of MEKO in early 2014. This will permit the ongoing use of our products by members of the public as well as professional painters and decorators. It is not expected that MEKO will be reclassified under the REACH regulations until 2018 however Firwood feel it is prudent to take action now rather than await reclassification of the chemical.

As ever some products remain in the supply chain and may be in customers own stocks that were produced using MEKO as an anti-skinning agent. Our recommendation to customers is to ensure that when using industrial floor paints they have adequate ventilation in the work area or room that the coating is being applied in. For professional painters they may wish to use a respirator in consideration of the fact that they may have long term exposure to solvents.

The REACH regulations can have a positive impact in identifying hazards in the use of raw materials and it is likely that other products currently used and considered to be safe will be identified as substances of high concern. Firwood Paints policy is plan forward to replace wherever possible such substances to ensure our products can be used in a safe manner.

Industrial Floor Paints From Firwood

Firwood provide a comprehensive range of industrial floor paints, decorative paints and protective coatings for a variety of different applications. For more information about any of Firwood's products please get in touch today by calling 01204 525231 or email

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