NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
R019375 - 021H: Isocyanate Skin and Air Exposure: Assessment and Control (9375)Start Date: 9/1/2009
End Date: 8/31/2013
Principal Investigator (PI)Name: Linda Frederick
Sub-Unit: Office of Extramural Projects
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed5.0
Secondary Goal AddressedNone
Attributed to Manufacturing100%
"Isocyanates, widely used chemicals essential to the production of numerous polyurethane foams and other products, remain a leading cause of occupational asthma. Research and controls to-date have focused largely on airborne exposures. Despite reduced air levels exposed workers continue to develop isocyanate asthma.
"This is the second revision of a RO1 proposal to investigate isocyanate skin and air exposures in an MDI fabric coating factory and implement a field intervention program to reduce isocyanate skin exposures. Reactive isocyanates, widely used as the essential cross-linker for producing polyurethane, have been a leading cause of occupational asthma for over 50 years. Until recently it has been presumed that the respiratory tract is the key route of isocyanate exposure, with clinical practice, research and prevention to-date focused almost exclusively on airborne exposures. There is growing evidence that isocyanate skin exposure can contribute to the development of isocyanate asthma. Despite reduced respiratory isocyanate exposures, isocyanate asthma continues to occur, commonly in work environments where measured airborne levels are below regulatory standards, and also where there is opportunity for skin exposure.
This project is relevant to the mission of the NIOSH Respiratory Research Cross- Sector Research Program to provide National and International leadership for the prevention of work-related respiratory diseases. The strategic goal of the Respiratory Diseases Research Program is to reduce and/or eliminate work related respiratory diseases through 1) Disease and hazard identification, recognition, and measurement (through surveillance, health hazards evaluations [HHEs], external reporting and internal examination of the literature),2) Disease assessment (through field studies and laboratory studies) and in relation to hazard exposure, 3) Disease prevention (through HHEs, dissemination, collaboration, intervention, control measures, secondary prevention) 4) development of tools and collaborations, and 5) Disease and hazard evaluation (self assessment - through surveillance).