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Tanser A.R., Bourke M.P., Blandford A.G.
Isocyanate asthma: respiratory symptoms caused by diphenyl-methane di-isocyanate.
57 employees of a factory using diphenylmethane di-isocyanate (MDI) were investigated. 4 employees had developed hypersensitivity to MDI, of whom 2 had severe and 1 moderate asthma. 10 other employees had experienced unpleasant, mainly respiratory irritant effects from MDI vapour. The finding indicate that there is a significant hazard from MDI but that this can be controlled if appropriate medical and technical precautions are taken.
Thorax, Sep.1973, Vol.28, No.5, p.596-600. 12 ref.
Criteria for a recommended standard: Occupational exposure to toluene diisocyanate.
Recommendations are made for the prevention of acute and chronic health disorders due to toluene diisocyanate (TDI). The time-weighted average (TWA) exposure (8 hours) should not exceed 0.005 ppm (0.036 mg/m3); the concentration of TDI in air should not exceed 0.02 ppm (0.14 mg/m3) in any 20 min period. Other requirements relate to medical supervision, labelling, personal protection, information of employees, work practices and control procedures, sanitation, monitoring and keeping of records. The criteria upon which the recommendations are based are discussed at some length under the following headings: biological effects of exposure; environmental data; development of the standard; work practices. Procedures for the sampling and analysis of TDI in air are described in detail and useful additional information is given in appendices.
HSM 73-11022, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Rockville, Maryland 10852. Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, USA, 1973. 97 p. 84 ref. Price: US-$1.25.
This note indicates the hazards involved in the industrial use of isocyanates and describes appropriate safety precautions to be taken. Chemical reactions of isocyanates; determination of environmental levels; toxic effects; handling of isocyanates; protective clothing; medical supervision of workers; first aid; statutory requirements; types of isocyanates compounds; uses of isocyanates. Toxic hazards and precautions in manufacturing processes: flexible foam (manufacture of foam block, flame bonding of flexible foam, manufacture of moulded articles, waste foam products, insulation, boats, other uses); rigid foam (insulation, moulded articles, packaging, other uses); urethane rubbers; surface coatings (urethane oils, blocked isocyanate coatings, polyisocyanate coatings); adhesives; and foundry core binders.
Technical Data Note No.41, Department of Employment, H.M. Factory Inspectorate, London. H.M. Stationery Office, P.O. Box 569, London S.E.1, United Kingdom, 1973. 7 p. Gratis.
Minister of State for Social Affairs, Paris, France.
Decree No.73-215 of 23 February 1973 to revise and supplement the schedule of occupational diseases annexed to Decree No.46-2959 of 31 December 1946
Décret n° 73-215 du 23 février 1973 revisant et compléant les tableaux de maladies professionnelles annexés au décret n°46-2959 du 31 décembre 1946. [en francés]
This decree, which came into force on 2 Mar. 1973, adds to the statutory list of occupational diseases the following new tables (Nos.59 to 63): occupational poisoning due to hexane; occupational poisoning due to pentachlorophenol or sodium pentachlorophenolate; diseases due to cadmium and its compounds; diseases due to organic isocyanates; diseases due to proteolytic enzymes. Table No.34 is amended. [The text of this decree is also reproduced in Travail et sécurité, Paris, Mar. 1973, No.3, p.223-227, with comments, followed by the text of the administrative circular of 7 Mar. 1973 on this subject].
Journal officiel de la République française, 2 Mar. 1973, No.52, p.2321-2322.
Human responses to isocyanate exposure.
Isocyanates produce skin and eye reactions, but the most important human response is the respiratory one. 2 types of respiratory response occur: a direct irritant one, requiring supportive treatment only, and a truly allergic response necessitating steroid and bronchodilatory therapy. The importance of volatility is extremely relevant to the respiratory response since respiration of the fumes is necessary for its occurrence. The lower the molecular weight of the compound, the higher the volatility. Increasing volatility with temperature rises and dissipation of fumes in high humidity are hazards to be considered.
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Mar. 1973, Vol.15, No.3, p.306-307. 16 ref.
Toluene diisocyanate in industry - Operating and medical codes of practice
The Codes recommend working procedures which will ensure maximum safety when using toluene diisocyanate and make detailed recommendations for the medical selection, screening, and supervision, of people who may be exposed to isocyanates, in order to protect them against possible health hazards. Individual sections are devoted to: the hazards of isocyanates; design and equipment of production premises and plant; physical and chemical characteristics of toluene diisocyanate; bulk and drum handling, discharge from drums and handling of small quantities; spillages; measurement of atmospheric concentrations; operator training; protective clothing and respiratory protective equipment; pre-employment medical examinations; periodic health checks; health checks on return to work after illness; and first aid. The questionnaire on respiratory symptoms and the lung function tests recommended for the pre-employment examination are detailed.
British Rubber Manufacturers' Association Ltd., Health Research Unit, Scala House, Holloway Circus, Birmingham 1, United Kingdom, 1971. 52p. Illus. Price: £2.00.
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