Chronic pulmonary function loss from exposure to toluene diisocyanate.
Wegman DH; Peters JM; Pagnotto L; Fine LJ
Br J Ind Med 1977 Aug; 34(3):196-200
In 1972 a total of 112 workers exposed to toluene-diisocyanate (1321386) (TDI) in polyurethane cushion manufacturing were examined for acute pulmonary function changes during a work shift on the first day of the working week. A dose response relationship was demonstrated for the acute effects of TDI in this population. The cohort was restudied in 1974 to determine whether there was excessive loss of pulmonary function, and if so, whether there was an exposure level below which this did occur. The original cohort was reduced to 63 workers available for resurvey of which 57 could be assigned reliable personal exposure levels for the two-year study period. Pulmonary function measurements were made again before and after work on the first day of the working week. A total of 132 environmental samples were collected on this and previous occasions during the study period. The 57 workers were divided into three exposure subgroups (less than or equal to 0.0015, 0.0020 - 0.0030; greater than or equal to 0.0035ppm). Using the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV-1) as a measure of response, a dose response relationship was observed. Only those in the lowest exposure subgroup showed normal two-year declines. The FEV-1 of those in the highest exposure group fell 206 milliliters in two years (103 milliliters per year) which exceeds the expected value by three- to fourfold. The decrement of FEV-1 in the middle exposure group was borderline (42 milliliters per year). These differences in FEV-1 by exposure subgroup were not explained by age, months employed, smoking habits, or variables related to lung size. A significant association between acute and chronic decrement in FEV-1 was shown again. It is concluded that chronic occupational exposure to TDI at 0.003ppm or higher is unsafe. (Grant No. R01-0H-00322)
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-functions; Polyurethanes; Plastics-industry; Plastics-manufacturing; Hazards; Isocyanates; Dose-response; Threshold-limit-values; Exposure-limits
British Journal of Industrial Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health