Many workers are unaware of the potential hazards that chemicals present in their work environment, which makes them more vulnerable to injury. The following references aid in recognizing and evaluating hazards associated with isocyanates in the workplace.
Report on Carcinogens (RoC). US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Toxicology Program (NTP). Identifies and discusses agents, substances, mixtures, or exposure circumstances that may pose a health hazard due to their carcinogenicity. The listing of substances in the RoC only indicates a potential hazard and does not establish the exposure conditions that would pose cancer risks to individuals.
Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets. New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Includes detailed reports on specific chemicals, covering hazard summaries, identification, exposure routes, health hazards, and ways of reducing exposure. The following fact sheets cover isocyanate compounds.
Preventing Asthma and Death from Diisocyanate Exposure. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 96-111, (1996). Discusses the recognition, evaluation, and control of diisocyanate exposures.
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Air-Purifying Respirator Cartridges in Removing MDI Aerosols from Air. The Dow Chemical Company, (1997). Shows that organic vapor cartridges without a particulate filter were not effective at removing Methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI) aerosols from air, while organic vapor cartridges with dust/mist (DM) or high efficiency (HEPA) filters effectively removed greater than 99 percent of MDI aerosol and vapor in all test atmospheres.
The following studies indicate that respiratory sensitivity to isocyanates may be related to previous dermal exposure.
Kimber, I. "The Role of the Skin in Development of Chemical Respiratory Hypersensitivity." Toxicology Letters 86(1996): 89-92.
Bickis, U., and K. Nakatsu. "A Single Skin Contact with Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) Causes a One-Year Persistence of Airway Sensitization, Demonstrable in Vivo and in Vitro." (1996). Abstract of platform presentation No. 310 presented at the 1996 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition.
Bickis, U. "Investigation of Dermally Induced Airway Hyperreactivity to Toluene Diisocyanate in Guinea Pigs." Ph.D. thesis, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, (1994).
Karol, M. H., et al. "Dermal Contact With Toluene Diisocyanate (TDI) Produced Respiratory Tract Hypersensitivity in Guinea Pigs." Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol 58(1981): 221-230.
Rattray, N. J., et al. "Induction of Respiratory Hypersensitivity to Diphenylmethane-4,4’-Diisocyanate (MDI) in Guinea Pigs; Influence of route of exposure." Toxicology 88(1994): 15-30.
Deschamps, F., et al. "Mechanisms of Occupational Asthma Induced by Isocyanate." Ann. Occup. Hyg. 42(1998): 33-36.
Cole, K. C., et al. "Flexible Polyurethane Foam. I. FTIR Analysis of Residual Isocyanate." Applied Polymer Science 34(1987): 395-407.
All other documents, that are not PDF materials or formatted for the web, are available as Microsoft Office® formats and videos and are noted accordingly. If additional assistance is needed with reading, reviewing or accessing these documents or any figures and illustrations, please also contact OSHA's Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300.
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